News / Middle East

Iran Talks Leave Issues Unresolved

Iran Talks Leave Issues Unresolvedi
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April 10, 2013
The latest round of nuclear talks between Iran and the six countries representing the United Nations ended over the weekend with no substantive progress or plan for more meetings. But both sides promised to be in touch after taking some time to evaluate each other’s ideas. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London that the process is suspended but has not reached a dangerous impasse.
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Al Pessin
The latest round of nuclear talks between Iran and the six countries representing the United Nations ended over the weekend with no substantive progress or plan for more meetings.  But both sides promised to be in touch after taking some time to evaluate each other’s ideas. The process is suspended but has not reached a dangerous impasse.

The delegates gathered in Kazakhstan amid hopes they would build on the upbeat atmosphere of the last round of talks there in February. Some believed there was a chance of agreement on first steps toward ending the dispute over Iran’s nuclear program.

But as EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton noted, it didn’t turn out that way. She said, “It became clear the positions of the E3 + 3 and Iran remain far apart on the substance.”

Other participants agreed, but did their best to put a positive spin on the situation. Russia's Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said, “From the point of view of our work, of this process, of the atmosphere of the talks, we have progressed far ahead.”

Iran's chief negotiator Saeed Jalili (VOA video)Iran's chief negotiator Saeed Jalili (VOA video)
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Iran's chief negotiator Saeed Jalili (VOA video)
Iran's chief negotiator Saeed Jalili (VOA video)
Iran's chief negotiatior Saeed Jalili said, “Representatives tabled the points of view of their respective countries and announced that they will need to make further assessments.”

The five permanent Security Council members and Germany want an end to Iranian uranium enrichment to near weapons grade - and full U.N. inspections to prove it.  The Iranians want recognition of their right to enrich uranium, even to weapons grade, and an end to international sanctions.

To some extent, both sides are playing for time until after the Iranian election in June.

But U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said there is a limit, “This is not an interminable process. So we hope that out of Almaty will come a narrowing of some of the differences.  Diplomacy is a painful task and a task for the patient.”

There is concern that if there is no significant progress in the talks, and soon, the United States or Israel could take military action against Iran’s nuclear facilities. And even with two rounds of talks already this year, there is no guarantee of significant progress - according to the nuclear expert at London’s International Institute for Strategic Studies, Mark Firtzpatrick.

“I don’t think 2013 will produce a solution to the Iran nuclear program," said Firtzpatrick. "If it can produce at least a partial agreement, that would be a favorable and welcome development.  2013 could also be a very negative year if Iran does not accept any limits to its program, if it keeps expanding.”

The next indication of which way 2013 will go should come within a few weeks -- when officials consult at long-distance about whether and when to meet again. Until then, Iranian enrichment goes on, the crippling economic sanctions continue,and the two sides remain far apart.

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by: fecisi kerim from: Mars
April 11, 2013 9:35 AM
usa ,england ,ısrael are the greatest threat to world peace.


by: George from: USA
April 10, 2013 4:19 PM
There was no progress in the talks in Almaty because the U.S. demands diamonds and offers only peanuts to Iran. Iran would like this phony farce about its non-existent nuclear weapons program to end as soon as possible. But, the U.S. keeps dragging on this comedy of errors endlessly.

There is zero evidence that Iran has any interest in nuclear weapons. Even all 16 U.S. intelligence agencies have said so repeatedly. But, the U.S. politicians keep repeating the myth that Iran is the greatest threat to world peace. According to the NPT, Iran has every right to enrich uranium.

Iran is already the most inspected country in the world. There is no way it can prove a negative. So, the U.S. should stop asking for the impossible.

By the way, who is inspecting American or Israeli nuclear sites?


by: Vinay Prasad from: India
April 10, 2013 2:50 PM
"There is concern that if there is no significant progress in the talks, and soon, the United States or Israel could take military action against Iran’s nuclear facilities."

What do the writers of the article think of their readers? Believe what they write? An attack on Iran is the biggest bluff in the history of mankind. Even after knowing the consequences, how does mister Al Pessin think an attack can ever take place? Please stop this nonsense. The west will get used to a nuclear Iran. Even if it dosent like the fact.


by: Amin from: Texas
April 10, 2013 2:42 PM
There is a way out of this madness, the US should offer full meaningful sanctions relief and in return cap enrichment below 20 percent and call for intrusive inspections. These chicken shit steps does nothing but escalate the issues.

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