News / Middle East

Iran Talks Extended as Foreign Ministers Join

Iran Talks Extended as Foreign Ministers Joini
November 23, 2013 1:40 AM
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is flying to Geneva, as negotiators there work late into the night toward an agreement on curbing Iran's nuclear program and easing economic sanctions. The State Department says he is going "with the hope that an agreement will be reached." VOA’s Al Pessin reports from Geneva.
Al Pessin
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is in Geneva, after negotiators there worked late into the night toward an agreement on curbing Iran's nuclear program and easing economic sanctions. The State Department says he is there "with the hope that an agreement will be reached."

Kerry flew overnight to join the talks. The State Department says he will try to “help narrow the differences and move closer to an agreement.”  After arriving Saturday, the country's top diplomat began a series of meetings.

His Russian counterpart, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, arrived in Geneva Friday and had a meeting with Iran's chief negotiator, Mohammad Javad Zarif.

The United States and Russia are two of the six countries designated by the United Nations Security Council to conduct these talks. Foreign ministers from the others - Britain, France, Germany and China - also may come to Geneva, as they did during the last round of negotiations two weeks ago.

The decision for Kerry to come was made late Friday, after what a spokesman called “intensive, detailed discussions” over three days.

Negotiators have described the talks as “very hard,” but a former British ambassador to Iran, Richard Dalton, said both sides have a stake in reaching an agreement, and failure this week would be a serious setback.

“It would be extremely unfortunate, because as we've seen between second and third rounds, both sides seem to have toughened up their position in some respects. So, if we see a failure now, it won't be any easier to find compromises,” said Dalton.

Dalton said the negotiators may have to try for a more limited first stage accord if their current effort fails.

Already, these talks are intended only to reach a preliminary agreement on confidence building steps. Then there would be a six-month negotiating period to reach a full accord and potentially end all nuclear-related economic sanctions, which have devastated Iran's economy.

No one is saying exactly what the gaps are, but issues center on Iran's extensive capability to enrich uranium to near weapons grade, and its demands for sanctions relief in return for freezing, and perhaps rolling back, parts of its nuclear operation. Iran says it does not want to build a nuclear bomb, but the Security Council wants proof, through the elimination of the highly enriched stockpile and verifiable restrictions for the future.

Iran wants recognition of what it sees as its right to enrich uranium. And it apparently wants more immediate sanctions relief than the U.N. team is willing to give.
Both sides are under pressure to move quickly.

In Iran, hardliners are eager to declare the failure of the relatively moderate government that was elected in June with a mandate to seek an end to the sanctions.
In the United States, a key member of the contact group and some members of Congress want to add sanctions to force Iran to make more concessions, a move the Obama administration says could kill any chance of a peaceful resolution to the dispute.

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Comment Sorting
by: Change Iran Now from: USA
November 24, 2013 11:14 PM
The full implementation of Security Council resolutions, particularly the complete halt to uranium enrichment, agreeing to the Additional Protocol, and the IAEA inspectors’ unhindered access to suspected nuclear centers and facilities are essential for the regime to abandon nuclear weapons. Any leniency, hesitancy and concessions by the international community will prompt Khamenei to once again move towards manufacturing nuclear weapons through deception and cheating.

by: Chris Duran from: Pa
November 23, 2013 5:26 PM
Can't anyone see the forest for the trees?
Iran is desperately looking for resources to fund Assad in Syria - so as to keep him in power. They are totally cornered - they will only temporarily pause their nuclear ambitions - to get whatever income they can to keep on fighting in Syria and Lebanon.
And giving them Iraq - now we're going to bankroll their effort to save the Syrian dictator.
Wake up folks! Unless they dismantle all their reactors - just say no and Syria as well as Iran will collapse.

by: MRs. kAY Bennett from: USA
November 23, 2013 2:12 PM
Kerry is a dirty, disgusting, PIG, a member of BOHEMIAN GROVE, yet, "secretary of state". He is a dirty lascivious PIG.

by: Maria Cosgrove from: USA
November 23, 2013 1:30 PM
This is a call from very concerned American Mothers to Washington. Please stop importing Iranian "graduate students" into our State and local universities. These Iranian graduate students subvert our national security. they are responsible for killing our boys who serve overseas... Please stop this!!! we do not want Iranian "students" here!!!
In Response

by: Marcia Meulen from: Alabama USA
November 23, 2013 7:52 PM
hey "AnonymForSecurityReasons..." go and fight for Iranian democracy in Iran!!! don't bring your filth into this country!!!

take your Hizbulla friends and get the hell out of here. I don't want you or your Iranian friends anywhere near my children. where the hell is our Homeland Security???
In Response

by: AnonymForSecurityReasons from: Auburn, AL
November 23, 2013 7:00 PM
Thank you for literally ruining my day (^_^)
For four years I've been trying to break the stereo type in here. Maybe it's no use, but I'll say this anyways:
We're humans, just like you. We love music, honesty and friendship. Cultures are different but we (Iranian people) have MUCH more in common than differences. If we focus on the things which bring conflicts, we, humans, can not survive.
We're fighting for democracy every day. More than 2 million people gathered together in a demonstration in a single-long-street in 2009, me included. Can you even picture that?
(FYI: )

We're fighting in Iran for democracy. We don't need more pressure from outside. They're taking our lives already. Please don't help them achieve what they need: a war.

by: Godwin from: Nigeria
November 23, 2013 8:25 AM
This is the time we need a call through to Hassan Rouhani. It has not been enough for Mr. Obama to call Rouhani on his way out of the US back to Iran to say, 'please be my friend'. Now it becomes pertinent to call Rouhani and say, ‘look my friend, let's not keep extending this matter, it's not in your favor, it's not in the favor of your supreme leader, it's not in the favor of the Iranian masses, it is not in the interest of the world that is waiting to forge friendships with the Iranian people. Come off this stiff-necked, valueless hardline obstinacy and drop the idea of uranium enrichment if you are sincere that your nuclear program is for peaceful purposes.

‘I can guarantee you that United States will assist in procuring whatever nuclear fuels you need for your reactors in the interim pending the determination of the sincerity of your administration to pursue peaceful civilian nuclear program by the organizations concerned. Do this my friend and your people and indeed everybody will be grateful to you and your government to free Iran from all this trouble. Call your negotiators now, encourage your supreme leader, that's the best you do for your country. That is why they elected you. Thank you.' He can even call the Ayatollah himself, thus both easing and reducing work of the negotiators, wherein if the supreme leader fails, there will be no need to dissuade Congress from hammering Iran with new sanctions that will force it to negotiate in good faith.

It is also important to comment on reason why Kerry has had to go in person to Geneva for the negotiations. No one these days is sure again to use phone services when the likes of Jullie Assange and Edward Snowden are more eager to disrupt such proceedings on phone. I am sure too that will affect Mr. Obama’s call to Tehran whether he is calling Khamenei or Rouhani, for any concession they make will become public knowledge the next minute thereby exposing the leaders to troubles they would prefer to avoid. That has affected the negotiators also since they cannot safely discuss with their home governments without these hawks betraying the discussion pronto. Saying ‘no one is saying what the gaps (difficulties) are’ does not mean nobody knows that it is Iran’s obstinacy to drop uranium enrichment. Fact is Obama is too soft that Iran is taking the whole matter too easy and even dictates pace and proceedings. Otherwise it would be asking for the relief package rather than the several groups UN, EU, P5+1 etc begging it to accept what is offered. Only the US Senate understands this and want to do it the right way, both is hindered by the president.

by: Baharazadeh from: Canada
November 23, 2013 8:24 AM
I was born in Iran, and I am here to tell you that you have no idea of the lies and deceptions and corruption and filth of this regime. I read somewhere here a message from an educated french guy - he said that Iran regime is a Shiite revolutionary regime - he was so right. this Iranian regime wants to humiliate the US and Israel - it is a despicable Iranian regime - they will lie to you and laugh at your gullibility. Please understand you can not believe anything they say. And stop accepting Iranian "graduate students" to your universities. they are subversive agents of the regime. and they can't belive you are so stupid as to allow them to come to your country and learn the things that they will use to defeat you. you must stop this.

by: Tony Bellchambers from: London
November 23, 2013 5:03 AM
For the putative President of the United States, Binyamin Netanyahu today cuts a sad, bedraggled figure as he frantically flies to Moscow, Manchester and Mar del Plata, only to find doors slammed in his face as yesterday’s man who has sadly reverted to what he always was – just the leader of a small party in an strategically insignificant Middle Eastern state of just eight million people (and a handful of ‘pricetag’ terrorists) who was unfortunately overly influenced by a onetime ovation of AIPAC Republican congressmen.

The world had moved on and Netanyahu’s vision of an Israeli Middle East controlled jointly by himself and the US president, is now just a faded joke.
Iran, with a population of 77 million, is one of the major economies of the world, and the ludicrous sanctions imposed as a result of the Israel lobby are now seen as a huge political and economic error that have destabilised the global economy.

Thank God that common sense is now prevailing and hopefully the next key political issue will be for the UN to declare the entire Middle East to be a Nuclear Weapons Free Zone. That will entail Israel neutralising and dismantling its hundreds of nuclear warheads and decommissioning its fleet of nuclear-armed submarines with their cruise missiles patrolling the Mediterranean.

Time is now of the essence in order to pre-empt a major conflict – one that could turn nuclear in an instant and escalate to become a catastrophic WW3. That is the reality if no action is taken and this appeasement continues.

In Response

by: USMC from: USA
November 23, 2013 1:41 PM
spoken like a true imbecilic Iranian Basiji... even the masquerade of "Tony from London..." LOL... look fool, most of the American Marines I know of, would have loved to have BB Yahoo (the Israeli President) as our American president. Got that?? if we had a president worthy of the name, you would have been back in your cave eating lice from your 77 Million Iranian neighbors...

semper fidelis!!!

by: USMC Maj (Ret) from: USA
November 22, 2013 11:14 PM
you have to know that this is useless... silly really... hey Kerry its a rogue regime of deceptive reprobates... what do you expect??? Honesty??? hey fool its Iran - they killed 241 Marines in Beirut - don't you remember...??? they are Hizbullah, Hamas... Al Qaida... what is wrong with this administration...???
In Response

by: Insider from: D.C.
November 22, 2013 11:53 PM
But we all know the CIA created Al Qaeda, and runs, funds, trains and arms them, yet we are supposed to send our sons and daughters to fight a PHONY "war on terror" against an "enemy" we openly fund.
In Response

by: Anonymous
November 22, 2013 11:34 PM
Iran is not Al-Qaida. the Arab "alliea" are

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