News / Middle East

High-Level Iran Talks End Without an Agreement

Nuclear Fuel Concerns Block Iran Agreementi
X
November 10, 2013 7:19 PM
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
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

Ukraine: Mysterious 'Roaming Tank' Reportedly Takes Aim at Smugglers

Ukraine's TV, print media, Facebook abuzz with reports a 'roaming tank' is on the loose, destroying vehicles of those involved in smuggling More

US Wildlife Service Begins Probe of Killing of Cecil the Lion

Minnesota man accused of killing beast is in hiding, has been asked to contact US officials; White House to review extradition petition More

Video Kerry Five-Nation Tour to Cover Security, Iran Nuclear Deal

Secretary of state will visit Egypt, Qatar, Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam to discuss security issues, Iran nuclear deal, Trans-Pacific Partnership 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.
Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’i
X
July 29, 2015 9:34 PM
Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’

Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Hometown of Boy Scouts of America Founder Reacts to Gay Leader Decision

Ottawa, Illinois, is the hometown of W.D. Boyce, who founded the Boy Scouts of America in 1910. In Ottawa, where Scouting remains an important part of the legacy of the community, the end of the organization's ban on openly gay adult leaders was seen as inevitable. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video 'Metal Muscles' Flex a New Bionic Hand

Artificial limbs, including the most complex of them – the human hand – are getting more life-like and useful due to constant advances in tiny hydraulic, pneumatic and electric motors called actuators. But now, as VOA’s George Putic reports, scientists in Germany say the future of the prosthetic hand may lie not in motors but in wires that can ‘remember’ their shape.
Video

Video Russia Accused of Abusing Interpol to Pursue Opponents

A British pro-democracy group has accused Russia of abusing the global law enforcement agency Interpol by requesting the arrest and extradition of political opponents. A new report by the group notes such requests can mean the accused are unable to travel and are often unable to open bank accounts. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video 'Positive Atmosphere' Points Toward TPP Trade Deal in Hawaii

Talks on a major new trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations are said to be nearing completion in Hawaii. Some trade experts say the "positive atmosphere" at the discussions could mean a deal is within reach, but there is still hard bargaining to be done over many issues and products, including U.S. drugs and Japanese rice. VOA's Jim Randle reports.
Video

Video Genome Initiative Urgently Moves to Freeze DNA Before Species Go Extinct

Earth is in the midst of its sixth mass extinction. The last such event was caused by an asteroid 66 million years ago. It killed off the dinosaurs and practically everything else. So scientists are in a race against time to classify the estimated 11 million species alive today. So far only 2 million are described by science, and researchers are worried many will disappear before they even have a name. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Scientists: One-Dose Malaria Cure is Possible

Scientists have long been trying to develop an effective protection and cure for malaria - one of the deadliest diseases that affects people in tropical areas, especially children. As the World Health Organization announces plans to begin clinical trials of a promising new vaccine, scientists in South Africa report that they too are at an important threshold. George Putic reports, they are testing a compound that could be a single-dose cure for malaria.
Video

Video 'New York' Magazine Features 35 Cosby Accusers

The latest issue of 'New York' magazine features 35 women who say they were drugged and raped by film and television celebrity Bill Cosby. The women are aged from 44 to 80 and come from different walks of life and races. The magazine interviewed each of them separately, but Zlatica Hoke reports their stories are similar.
Video

Video US Calls Fight Against Human Trafficking a Must Win

The United States is promising not to give up its fight against what Secretary of State John Kerry calls the “scourge” of modern slavery. Officials released the country’s annual human trafficking report Monday – a report that’s being met with some criticism. VOA’s National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more from the State Department.
Video

Video Washington DC Underground Streetcar Station to Become Arts Venue

Abandoned more than 50 years ago, the underground streetcar station in Washington D.C.’s historic DuPont Circle district is about to be reborn. The plan calls for turning the spacious underground platforms - once meant to be a transportation hub, - into a unique space for art exhibitions, presentations, concerts and even a film set. Roman Mamonov has more from beneath the streets of the U.S. capital. Joy Wagner narrates his report.
Video

Video Europe’s Twin Crises Collide in Greece as Migrant Numbers Soar

Greece has replaced Italy as the main gateway for migrants into Europe, with more than 100,000 arrivals in the first six months of 2015. Many want to move further into Europe and escape Greece’s economic crisis, but they face widespread dangers on the journey overland through the Balkans. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Stink Intensifies as Lebanon’s Trash Crisis Continues

After the closure of a major rubbish dump a week ago, the streets of Beirut are filling up with trash. Having failed to draw up a plan B, politicians are struggling to deal with the problem. John Owens has more for VOA from Beirut.
Video

Video Paris Rolls Out Blueprint to Fight Climate Change

A U.N. climate conference in December aims to produce an ambitious agreement to fight heat-trapping greenhouse gases. But many local governments are not waiting, and have drafted their own climate action plans. That’s the case with Paris — which is getting special attention, since it’s hosting the climate summit. Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at the transformation of the French capital into an eco-city.
Video

Video Racially Diverse Spider-Man Takes Center Stage

Whether it’s in a comic book or on the big screen, fans have always known the man behind the Spider-Man mask as Peter Parker. But that is changing, at least in the comic book world. Marvel Comics announced that a character called Miles Morales will replace Peter Parker as Spider-Man in a new comic book series. He is half Latino, half African American, and he is quite popular among comic book fans. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports from Los Angeles.
Video

Video Historic Symbol Is Theme of Vibrant New Show

A new exhibit in Washington is paying tribute to the American flag with a wide and eclectic selection of artwork that uses the historic symbol as its central theme. VOA’s Julie Taboh was at the DC Chamber of Commerce for the show’s opening.

VOA Blogs