News / Middle East

    Iran, US Hold Bilateral Nuclear Talks in Geneva

    Deputy head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran Asghar Zarean explains about a part of a machine of the country's nuclear facilities in Tehran, Iran, Sept. 1, 2014.
    Deputy head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran Asghar Zarean explains about a part of a machine of the country's nuclear facilities in Tehran, Iran, Sept. 1, 2014.
    Reuters

    Iran and the United States met in Geneva for bilateral talks on Thursday as international diplomacy intensifies to end a decade-old dispute over Tehran's atomic activities by a new deadline in late November.

    The office of European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton confirmed Iran and six world powers would hold their first negotiating round since they failed to meet a July 20 target date for an agreement in New York on Sept. 18.

    The deadline was extended until Nov. 24 after six months of talks because wide gaps persisted over the future scope of Iran's uranium enrichment program, which can have both civilian and military applications.

    The six powers - the United States, Russia, China, France, Germany and Britain - aim to persuade Iran to scale back its nuclear program in exchange for phasing out sanctions that have severely hurt its oil-dependent economy.

    The election last year of President Hassan Rouhani, widely seen as a pragmatist, raised hopes of a settlement of the standoff after years of soaring tension and fears of a new Middle East war, and an interim accord was reached between Iran and the six powers in Geneva late last year.

    But Western diplomats say the sides remain far apart on what a final deal should look like - especially on the issue of how many enrichment centrifuges Iran can operate - and that a successful outcome in the negotiations is far from guaranteed.

    Accusations

    Western countries suspect Iran's program is aimed at seeking the capability to build a nuclear bomb. Tehran says it is a peaceful project to generate electricity.

    Thursday's meeting in Geneva between senior Iranian and U.S. officials was the second time they held talks in the Swiss city in the past month.

    State news agency IRNA and a U.S. official confirmed the discussions were underway.

    “If there is good will and a constructive approach, we can reach a desired result before Nov. 24,” IRNA quoted Iran's deputy foreign minister Majid Takht-Ravanchi as saying late on Wednesday.

    The United States last week penalized a number of Iranian and other foreign companies, banks and airlines for violating sanctions against Tehran, saying it was sending a signal that there should be no evasion of sanctions while talks continue.

    Rouhani said on Saturday the sanctions were against the spirit of negotiations, but added he was not pessimistic about the viability of the talks.

    Deputy Secretary of State William Burns and Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman were in the U.S. delegation at the Geneva talks, which will last for two days, the U.S. State Department said in a statement.

    Negotiations

    Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi, one of Iran's chief negotiators, is also at the discussions, which IRNA said would last until Saturday.

    Although the United States is part of the six-power negotiating track, any workable deal will likely have to be based on a bilateral agreement between Washington and Tehran. The United States cut off ties with Iran during a hostage crisis shortly after the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

    High-level bilateral meetings between the United States and Iran, virtually unthinkable in years past, have become almost routine on the sidelines of the nuclear talks.

    Ashton's office also confirmed that Iran and France, Britain and Germany would meet in Vienna on Sept. 11. Ashton is the coordinator of contacts with Iran on behalf of the six powers. 

    You May Like

    US Leaders Who Served in Vietnam War Look Back and Ahead

    In New York Times opinion piece, Secretary of State John Kerry, Senator John McCain and former Senator Bob Kerrey say as US strengthens relations with Vietnam, it is important to remember lessons learned from war

    Who Are US Allies in Fight Against Islamic State?

    There is little but opportunism keeping coalition together analysts warn — SDFs Arab militias are not united even among themselves, frequently squabble and don’t share Kurds' vision for post-Assad Syria

    Learning Foreign Language Helps US Soldiers Bridge Culture Gap

    Effective interaction with local populations part of everyday curriculum at Monterey, California, Defense Language Institute

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: IranFail from: USA
    September 04, 2014 11:22 PM
    Clearly Iran will not relinquish its desire to not only expand its refining capacity, but also improve it with next generation centrifuges. While the West wants Iran to downsize from its current 19,000 centrifuge level, Iran has staunchly stated its desire to expand with another 30,000 new centrifuges. Iran can live with most other concessions, because so long as it preserves it refining capacity, it still retains the ability to generate large amounts of weapons grade material quickly. Ultimately this is going to be the Achilles heel of these negotiations and rightly so. As long as Iran stays on this path, the West should resist and not conclude this agreement.

    by: Lawrence Bush from: Houston, USA
    September 04, 2014 1:28 PM
    If the Nov. talks beween the P5 plus Germany to succeed with the Iranian govt. relating the Tehran's controversial n-program; not only both the sides should sort out all the plans and modalities but should act in mutual trust and confidence. And, the n-talks and signing agreemnets only relate to the Iranian n-program, not the ongoing crises in the Middle East...... The final deal with the Iranian side must have the very strategic point - technological verifications by the IAEA; and, the strategic curb on the fuel enrichment process.

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnami
    X
    Elizabeth Lee
    May 22, 2016 6:04 AM
    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnam

    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video First-generation, Afghan-American Student Sets Sights on Basketball Glory

    Their parents are immigrants to the United States. They are kids who live between two worlds -- their parents' homeland and the U.S. For many of them, they feel most "American" at school. It can be tricky balancing both worlds. In this report, produced by Beth Mendelson, Arash Arabasadi tells us about one Afghan-American student who seems to be coping -- one shot at a time.
    Video

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    While universities across the United States honor their newest graduates this Friday, many immigrants in downtown Manhattan are celebrating, too. One hundred of them, representing 31 countries across four continents, graduated as U.S. citizens, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in New York and cities around the country.
    Video

    Video Vietnam Sees Strong Economic Growth Despite Incomplete Reforms

    Vietnam has transformed its communist economy to become one of the world's fastest-growing nations. While the reforms are incomplete, multinational corporations see a profitable future in Vietnam and have made major investments -- as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
    Video

    Video Qatar Denies World Cup Corruption

    The head of Qatar’s organizing committee for the 2022 World Cup insists his country's bid to host the soccer tournament was completely clean, despite the corruption scandals that have rocked the sport’s governing body, FIFA. Hassan Al-Thawadi also said new laws would offer protection to migrants working on World Cup construction projects. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Infrastructure Funding Puts Cambodia on Front Line of International Politics

    When leaders of the world’s seven most developed economies meet in Japan next week, demands for infrastructure investment world wide will be high on the agenda. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push for “quality infrastructure investment” throughout Asia has been widely viewed as a counter to the rise of Chinese investment flooding into region.
    Video

    Video Democrats Fear Party Unity a Casualty in Clinton-Sanders Battle

    Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton claimed a narrow victory in Tuesday's Kentucky primary even as rival Bernie Sanders won in Oregon. Tensions between the two campaigns are rising, prompting fears that the party will have a difficult time unifying to face the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Portrait of a Transgender Marriage: Husband and Wife Navigate New Roles

    As controversy continues in North Carolina over the use of public bathrooms by transgender individuals, personal struggles with gender identity that were once secret are now coming to light. VOA’s Tina Trinh explored the ramifications for one couple as part of trans.formation, a series of stories on transgender issues.
    Video

    Video Amerikan Hero Flips Stereotype of Middle Eastern Character

    An Iranian American comedian is hoping to connect with American audiences through a film that inverts some of Hollywood's stereotypes about Middle Eastern characters. Sama Dizayee reports.
    Video

    Video Budding Young Inventors Tackle City's Problems with 3-D Printing

    Every city has problems, and local officials and politicians are often frustrated by their inability to solve them. But surprising solutions can come from unexpected places. Students in Baltimore. Maryland, took up the challenge to solve problems they identified in their city, and came up with projects and products to make a difference. VOA's June Soh has more on a digital fabrication competition primarily focused on 3-D design and printing. Carol Pearson narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora