News

US Lawmakers Call for 'Hard-Nosed' Approach With Iran

Iran's International Atomic Energy Agency ambassador Ali Asghar Soltanieh (R) briefs the media during a board of governors meeting at the United Nations headquarters in Vienna, Austria, March 8, 2012.
Iran's International Atomic Energy Agency ambassador Ali Asghar Soltanieh (R) briefs the media during a board of governors meeting at the United Nations headquarters in Vienna, Austria, March 8, 2012.

Leading U.S. lawmakers are urging the Obama administration to take an even tougher stance with Iran over its nuclear program, questioning whether expanding economic sanctions are making a difference.

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman, Democrat John Kerry, called Iran and its nuclear program the "biggest foreign policy challenge facing the U.S." during a hearing Wednesday. He said sanctions alone are unlikely to make Iran change course and called for Washington to engage in what he called "hard-nosed diplomacy."  

The committee's leading Republican lawmaker, Senator Richard Lugar, also warned that Iran has refused to change "even as its isolation has grown." He said Tehran needs to understand it must choose between pursuing its nuclear program or preserving Iran's economic viability.

The lawmakers said the U.S. is keeping all options on the table, including the use of military force.

Iran denies Western claims it is trying to develop atomic weapons and says its nuclear activities are purely for power generation and medical research purposes.

Iran's Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi said Wednesday that he expects renewed talks with the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council - the United States, China, Russia, Britain and France, plus Germany - to begin April 13.

The group, known as the P5+1, reaffirmed its support for a diplomatic solution to the Iranian nuclear issue earlier this month. But in a statement, the group also voiced "regret" about Iran's escalating campaign to enrich uranium, and urged Tehran to open its Parchin military site to inspectors of the International Atomic Energy Agency.

Kerry said the prospect of a military confrontation gives "added urgency" to the upcoming talks.

A spokesman for European Union policy chief Catherine Ashton said there is no agreement on a time or place for the talks. But Salehi told Iranian state media Wednesday that a site will be set in the next few days.

Iran wants the meeting to take place in the Turkish city Istanbul, where a previous round of talks broke down in January 2011.

Salehi welcomed Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan to Tehran on Wednesday for meetings with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and other officials.

Turkey's Anatolia news agency quoted Erdogan as saying no one has the right to "impose anything" on a country using nuclear energy for peaceful purposes. He also said, though, "Anyone who has common sense is against nuclear weapons. And so no one has the right or the entitlement to impose such a thing."

Join the conversation on our social journalism site -
Middle East Voices
. Follow our Middle East reports on
Twitter and discuss them on our Facebook page.
This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments page of 2
 Previous    
by: Godwin
March 28, 2012 5:18 AM
Iran has never been sincere with its nuclear ambition. After thinking it could hide the military angle to the Panchin nuclear site, it refused to allow inspectors visit the site the last time they were in Iran. Now Ahmadinejad wants to take the inspectors to Turkey, how on earth will they know what is on the ground in Iran? Or is it paper they want to inspect? Iran only needs Iraq-type annihilation to open up, and when that is done, to rebuilt it like Lebanon and Afghanistan.
     

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Russia Accused of Abusing Interpol to Pursue Opponentsi
X
Henry Ridgwell
July 28, 2015 9:53 PM
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 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 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 Special Olympics Athletes Meet International Friends

The Special Olympics are underway in Los Angeles, California, with athletes from 165 countries participating in an event that gives people with intellectual disabilities the chance to take part in an international competition. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports that for athletes and their families, it's also an opportunity to make new friends in an international setting.
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 Iran Nuclear Pact Wins Few New US Congressional Backers

Later this week, President Barack Obama returns from a trip to Africa to confront a U.S. Congress roiled by the nuclear accord with Iran, an agreement that has received the blessing of the U.N. Security Council. Days of intensive lobbying and testimony by top administration officials have won few new congressional supporters of the pact. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports.
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 Critics of Japan Defense Policy Focus on Okinawa

In Okinawa, many locals have long complained that Tokyo places an unfair burden on the tiny island by locating most of Japan's U.S. military bases there. As Japan's government moves toward strengthening and expanding the country's defense policies, opponents of those plans are joining local protesters in Okinawa, voicing concern about where the country is headed. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from Okinawa.
Video

Video IS Uses Chemical Weapons in Syrian Attack

Islamic State militants have added a new weapon in their arsenal of fear: chemical weapons. VOA Kurdish service reporter Zana Omer was on the scene within hours of a recent attack in Hasakah, Syria, and has details of the subsequent investigation, in this report narrated by Miguel Amaya.
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