News / Middle East

    Talks on Iran's Nuclear Program 'Substantive'

    Iran Nuclear Talks Go to 2nd Day on New Proposali
    X
    October 15, 2013 10:15 PM
    Iranian and international negotiators are to continue nuclear talks on Wednesday after a long day of meetings Tuesday that stretched into the evening. The goal is to convince the United Nations contact group that Iran's nuclear program is purely peaceful, as Iranian leaders say, and to eventually end crippling economic sanctions. Iran says the UN's P5+1 group welcomed a proposal its foreign minister made, but its substance remains secret. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from Geneva.
    Al Pessin
    Negotiators say two days of nuclear talks in Geneva between Iran's new government and the United Nations contact group achieved new levels of specificity and openness, but they will not reveal details and say much work remains to be done.

    There were many firsts in these talks - including the first meeting with Iran's new government, the first agreement on a joint statement, and what officials on both sides called an unprecedented level of detailed, open and candid discussions.

    They agreed that experts on nuclear issues and economic sanctions will begin meeting soon to go over the proposals Iran made here, and to prepare for another round of formal talks in just three weeks.

    The joint statement calls the talks “substantive and forward looking,” and says the Iranian proposal presented on Tuesday was an “important contribution” that the six nations representing the U.N. Security Council will carefully consider.

    The head of the U.N. team, European Union foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton, said these were the most detailed discussions “by a long way” of a series of such meetings she has attended over the last three years.

    “Our positions have been set out on a number of issues already. And I would say to you that you need to allow us the space to now really have the opportunity to move forward, if that proves possible," said Ashton.

    She and her Iranian counterpart, Mohammed Javad Zarif, both declined to give any specifics on key topics in the talks, including Iran's stockpile of uranium enriched to near weapons grade, its continuing enrichment program and its desire for relief from international sanctions that have battered its economy. They said their silence is evidence of the seriousness of the talks.

    After years of mistrust and hostility, a senior U.S. official said these were the kind of talks that could lead to an agreement.

    Recent Developments:

    2012
    • January:  IAEA confirms Iran is refining uranium to 20% fissile purity.
    • February:  UN inspectors end talks in Tehran without inspecting disputed military site at Parchin.
    • April:  Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad vows Iran will not surrender its nuclear rights.
    • May:  UN inspectors report they found find traces significantly upgraded uranium at an Iranian site.
    • July:  EU begins total ban on Iranian oil imports, US expands sanctions.
    • September:  IAEA demands access to Parchin, Iran calls EU sanctions "irresponsible."
    • December:  IAEA says it makes progress in talks with Iran. US imposes more sanctions.

    2013
    • January:  Iran says it will speed up nuclear fuel work.
    • February:  Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei rejects direct nuclear talks with the U.S. Iran and world powers meet, agree to more talks.
    • May:  IAEA says Iran has expanded nuclear activity.
    • September:  Iranian President Hassan Rouhani says Iran will not seek weapons of mass destruction. Iran and world powers agree to resume nuclear talks.
    • October:  Iran holds talks with five permanent members of U.N. Security Council and Germany, more talks are set for November.
    Foreign Minister Zarif called the meetings “extensive and fruitful” and said he hopes they mark the start of a new phase in Iran's international relations that will end what he calls an “unnecessary crisis.”

    “There are more important issues that we need to deal with. And the right of Iran to pursue nuclear technology for peaceful purposes, including enrichment, can, in fact, be exercised, with the necessary political will, without any proliferation concerns," said Zarif.

    But amid the optimism, both sides emphasized that there are still disagreements on many points and that the issues are very complex and technical.  Zarif called this the first step on a difficult road, and he said the journey will take time.

    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: Change Iran Now from: USA
    October 16, 2013 10:13 PM
    As a non-nuclear state party to the (NPT), Iran owes a legal duty to the international community to refrain from manufacturing and acquiring nuclear weapons. These obligations are interpreted by the NPT’s enforcement agency, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), to also require states to provide credible assurance regarding non-diversion of nuclear material and the absence of undeclared nuclear material and activities. Iran’s systematic violations of the NPT are well documented. Despite Iran’s insistence that its nuclear program is exclusively for peaceful purposes, the evidence shows beyond a reasonable doubt that Iran’s nuclear work is not consistent with any other application than the development of a nuclear weapon. Iran continues to conceal its nuclear program and conduct enrichment-related activities, in violation of the NPT, the IAEA Safeguards Agreement, all subsequent IAEA Safeguards Resolutions, and numerous United Nations Security Council Resolutions. Iran, therefore, needs to be held accountable to the terms of the NPT and sanctions shouldn’t be lifted simply based on promises, but on concrete action.

    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