News

Iran, Western Powers Hold 'Constructive' Nuclear Talks

Michael Mann, spokesman for EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, speaks to media in Istanbul, April 14, 2012.
Michael Mann, spokesman for EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, speaks to media in Istanbul, April 14, 2012.
Dorian Jones

Talks in Istanbul involving P5+1 countries and Iran over Tehran's controversial nuclear program have ended with a commitment to further talks that are scheduled to take place in Baghdad next month.  Both sides described Saturday's Istanbul meeting as being held in a positive and constructive atmosphere.  

After nearly 10 hours of talks in Istanbul between Iran and world powers, Catherine Ashton, the European Union foreign policy chief, described the discussions as a success.

"The discussions on the Iranian nuclear issue have been constructive and useful," she said.

Saturday's talks saw diplomats from the United States, Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia meeting with their Iranian counterparts.  It was the first meeting since talks collapsed 15 months ago in Istanbul, amid mutual recriminations.  Iran says its nuclear program is peaceful, but critics suspect it is being used to develop weapons.  

Iran's chief negotiator, Saeed Jalili, said Saturday's talks saw important common ground being developed. "We have differences of opinion, but the points we agreed upon are important and significant. Various issues for cooperation and issues for talks were agreed upon for the next meeting," he said.

That next meeting is planned for Baghdad in May.  Apart from both sides recognizing the importance of abiding by the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, and acknowledging Tehran's right to develop nuclear energy, there were no other specific details of what common ground was achieved.  A series of meetings is planned ahead of the Baghdad talks.  

Those meetings are expected to bring together diplomats and technical experts who will aim to lay the groundwork for concrete proposals to be discussed in Baghdad.  The EU foreign policy chief says an important process has been started.

"We want now to move to a sustained process of serious dialogue where we can take urgent and practical steps to build confidence and lead on to compliance by Iran with all its international obligations.  In our efforts to do so, we will be guided by the principle of the step-by-step approach and reciprocity," she said.

The current talks come as international pressure on Tehran continues to mount.  New U.S. and EU economic sanctions against Iran are due to come into effect July 1, while Israel has warned it may take military action.

U.S. President Barack Obama has also warned the latest diplomatic efforts are the last chance for diplomacy to work.  Observers say next month's meeting in Baghdad will be a key test of those efforts, when the talks are expected to start to focus on concrete measures to allay international concern over Iran's nuclear program.

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
     
by: Hamilton
April 15, 2012 11:12 AM
The western world has non violent intent in developing nuclear programs,instead there men,resources etc are to protect weaker nations just as in kuwait.iran should be discouraged from pilling weapons of mass destruction as there history of wars sugests.

by: Cha Cha Cohen
April 15, 2012 3:12 AM
Everyone should preach whatever they practice. And we should aim for a war free beautiful world with opportunities to progress for all towrds peace!

by: Kammy
April 15, 2012 12:52 AM
This is the first time I submit my words here.
i want to say nothing but supporting Iran !

by: iran
April 14, 2012 9:27 PM
Explain what is one of these games? What is a constructive dialogue? Who is short? Iran has accepted what?

by: mrd
April 14, 2012 7:57 AM
I find this amazing. Here we have the US, UK, France with their nuclear weapons sanctioning Iran and threatening it with war becuase of suspicion that Iran MAY want nukes too. How many nukes does Israel have, built through Western collusion? A case of all animals being equal but some more equal than others? US, UK, France and Israel should first give up their own nukes before pontificating to others.

by: tezol
April 13, 2012 10:10 PM
Iranian totalitarianism draws it's energy from West's antagonism. As they say: what does not kill you makes you stronger".
If you want to see fundamental change in Iran, just leave it to itself. The internal forces will cause the change in the way the outcome is beneficial for West and Iranian people.

Current situation is a GRIND

by: Farhad
April 13, 2012 5:59 PM
Best way to fight a chaotic government like IRI is for the USA to actually be extra kind and acommodating to IRI, so there is no excuse for them to demonize USA further amongst Iranian population to decelerate their demise. Majority of Iranians are the least Moslem of the Middle East and the most friendly towards the West in reality. I pray instead of war, cults, and false religions, there will be more love, intelligence and rationality in the horizon for Iran and rest of the world.

by: Exenon
April 13, 2012 5:54 PM
if the weak west continues in its appeasement of the Iranians and North Koreans it will reap the harvest that the western powers did in 1939. Had a show of force been presented to Hitler then when Germany was totally unprepared to take on the soon to be allies, there would have been a less odious outcome. Those two countries are dysfunctional to the extent that reasoned argument is superfluous. Force is the only language open to them.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Gay Marriage Ruling Yields Real-life Impacti
X
Michael Bowman
June 28, 2015 10:05 PM
Friday’s landmark Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage throughout the United States is an outcome few thought possible just years ago, and shows a nation that increasingly tolerates and even celebrates the hopes and aspirations of gay people. VOA’s Michael Bowman spoke to a same-sex couple that will benefit from the high court ruling, and to a Christian scholar who is apprehensive about its potential consequences for America’s faith community.
Video

Video US Gay Marriage Ruling Yields Real-life Impact

Friday’s landmark Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage throughout the United States is an outcome few thought possible just years ago, and shows a nation that increasingly tolerates and even celebrates the hopes and aspirations of gay people. VOA’s Michael Bowman spoke to a same-sex couple that will benefit from the high court ruling, and to a Christian scholar who is apprehensive about its potential consequences for America’s faith community.
Video

Video Syrians Flee IS Advance in Hasaka

The Syrian government said Monday it has taken back one of several districts in Hasaka overrun by Islamic State militants. But continued fighting elsewhere in the northern city has forced thousands of civilians from their homes. In this report narrated by Bill Rodgers, VOA Kurdish Service reporter Zana Omer describes the scene in Amouda, where some of the displaced are taking refuge.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video S. Korea Christians Protest Gay Rights Festival

The U.S. Supreme Court decision mandating marriage equality nationwide has energized gay rights supporters around the world. Gay rights remain a highly contentious issue in a key U.S. ally, South Korea, where police did a deft job Sunday of preventing potential clashes between Christian protesters and gay activists. Kurt Achin reports from Seoul.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Nubians in Kenya Face Land Challenges

East Africa's ethnic Nubians have a rich cultural history that dates back thousands of years, but in Kenya they are facing hardships, including the loss of lands they have lived on for generations. They say the government has reneged on its pledge to award them title deeds for the plots. VOA's Lenny Ruvaga reports.
Video

Video Syrian Refugees Return to Tal Abyad

Syrian refugees in Turkey confirm they left their hometown of Tal Abyad because of intense fighting and coalition airstrikes, not because Kurdish fighters were engaged in ethnic cleansing, as some Turkish officials charged. VOA Kurdish Service reporter Zana Omer, in Tal Abyad, finds that civilians coming back to the town agree, as we hear in this report narrated by Roger Wilkison.
Video

Video Military Experts Question New Russian Tank Capabilities

Russia has been showing off its new tank design – the Armata T-14. Designers claim it is 20 years ahead of current Western designs - and driving it feels like playing a computer game. But military analysts question those assertions, and warn the cost could be too heavy a burden for Russia’s struggling economy. Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.
Video

Video In Syrian Crisis, Social Media Offer Small Comforts

Za’atari, a makeshift city in Jordan, may be the only Syrian refugee camp to tweet its activities, in an effort to keep donors motivated as the war in Syria intensifies and the humanitarian crisis deepens. Inside the camp, families say mobile phone applications help hold together families that are physically torn apart. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.
Video

Video Chemical-Sniffing Technology Fights Australia's Graffiti Vandals

Cities and towns all over the world spend huge amounts of resources battling graffiti writers who deface buildings, public transport vehicles and even monuments. Authorities in Sydney, Australia, hope a new chemical-sniffing technology finally will stop vandals from scribbling on walls in the passenger areas of commuter trains. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Cambodia Struggling to Curb Child Labor

Earlier this year a United Nations report found 10 percent of Cambodian children aged 7-14 are working – one of the highest rates in the region – and said one in four children in that age bracket are forced to quit school to help their families. Although the child labor rate has dropped over the past decade, Cambodia has a lot more to do – including keeping more children in school. Robert Carmichael reports for VOA from Phnom Penh.

VOA Blogs