News / Middle East

High-Level Iran Talks End Without an Agreement

Nuclear Fuel Concerns Block Iran Agreementi
X
November 10, 2013
Foreign ministers from leading U.N. countries will have to try again in the coming weeks to forge an agreement with Iran to curb its nuclear program and allow for the easing of economic sanctions. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Geneva that some dramatic diplomacy over the past few days failed to do the job.

Nuclear Fuel Concerns Block Iran Agreement

TEXT SIZE - +
Al Pessin
— Iranian and international negotiators have concluded three days of dramatic negotiations in Geneva without an agreement to curb Iran's nuclear program and ease damaging economic sanctions. Another round of talks has been set for November 20.

At first, this was a working-level gathering -- a routine interim step in the negotiating process. Then Iran's foreign minister predicted success by Friday night and his counterparts from most of the six United Nations contact group countries interrupted their schedules to fly to Geneva. Among them was U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, who was on a visit to the Middle East.

Then it all came apart. Whatever agreement Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif thought was imminent was not acceptable to the U.N. group. After negotiating until nearly midnight Friday and beyond midnight Saturday, it fell to the European Union's foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton to make the announcement.

“After what I think you all know have been three days of intense and constructive discussions, a lot of concrete progress has been achieved, but some differences remain," said Ashton.

She said the negotiators would reconvene in 10 days to try again to reach an agreement.

Tight-lipped on dispute

Ashton and other officials would not identify the points of agreement or dispute. But earlier, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said the six-nation U.N. contact group was not willing to allow Iran to continue preparing a heavy water reactor at Arak that will be able to make plutonium -- a key ingredient in nuclear bombs. And he said the group wants Iran to reduce its stockpile of highly enriched uranium, another bomb-making agent.

Iran says it has no intention of building a nuclear bomb, but there is a lot of concern in the international community, particularly because Iran has been very secretive about its program, has violated agreements in the past and has built facilities that experts say go beyond what is needed for nuclear power generation and research.

Minister Zarif said he was not disappointed by the outcome of the talks. Hopes had been raised by the improved atmosphere in the first round of talks with Iran's new government three weeks ago, but Zarif said he had expected disagreements to emerge when the two sides got to discussing details.

“What I was looking for was the political will and determination and readiness and good faith in order to end this phase and start implementing this phase," said Zarif. "Of course, we have our differences. That's why we're here. If we had agreed then we didn't need to be here and you didn't need to stay up until one o'clock in the morning to hear us.”

He said all the ministers are “on the same wave length” and have the “impetus to go forward.”

US sees progress

Secretary of State Kerry said there was “significant progress” in these talks and he believes an agreement can be reached in the coming weeks. He also acknowledged the concerns of Israel and of many members of the U.S. Congress, and indicated he will share details of the emerging agreement with them.

Kerry said, “I am convinced that over these next days the reasonable-ness of what we are doing and the reality of what we achieved will be taken into account by those who need to know that that is.”

He said the U.S. and its allies must exhaust all options to peacefully guarantee that Iran does not obtain a nuclear weapon before there is any talk of military action.

Much of the discussion appears to have dealt with technical issues related to Iran's nuclear program, and regarding which of the many economic sanctions on Iran will be eased. But analyst Patrick Clawson of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy says the negotiators also need to build in incentives to keep any first-phase agreement on track.

“It’s important to have an agreement structured in such a way that each of the two parties continue to have an interest in implementing that agreement each and every month," said Clawson.

But there is still work to be done before there is an agreement to implement - work the negotiators will return to in 10 days.

You May Like

Wikipedia Proves Useful for Tracking Flu

Technique gave better results than Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Google’s Flu Trends More

Turkish Law Gives Spy Agency Controversial Powers

Parliament approves legislation to bolster powers of intelligence service, which government claims is necessary to modernize and deal with new threats Turkey faces More

Video Face of American Farmer Changing

Average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Face of American Farmer is Changingi
X
Mike Osborne
April 18, 2014
The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid