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.
Texas Town Residents Told to 'Just Leave' Ahead of Flood Threati
X
Greg Flakus
May 29, 2015 11:24 PM
Water from heavy rain in eastern and central Texas is now swelling rivers that flow into the Gulf of Mexico, threatening towns along their banks. VOA’s Greg Flakus visited the town of Wharton, southwest of Houston, where the Colorado River is close to cresting.
Video

Video Texas Town Residents Told to 'Just Leave' Ahead of Flood Threat

Water from heavy rain in eastern and central Texas is now swelling rivers that flow into the Gulf of Mexico, threatening towns along their banks. VOA’s Greg Flakus visited the town of Wharton, southwest of Houston, where the Colorado River is close to cresting.
Video

Video New York's One World Trade Center Observatory Opens to Public

From New Jersey to Long Island, from Northern suburbs to the Atlantic Ocean, with all of New York City in-between.  That view became available to the public Friday as the One World Trade Center Observatory opened in New York -- atop the replacement for the buildings destroyed in the September 11, 2001, attacks.  VOA’s Bernard Shusman reports.
Video

Video Seoul Sponsors Korean Unification Fair

With inter-Korean relations deteriorating over the North’s nuclear program, past military provocations and human rights abuses, many Koreans still hold out hope for eventual peaceful re-unification. VOA’s Brian Padden visited a “unification fair” held this week in Seoul, where border communities promoted the benefits of increased cooperation.
Video

Video Purple Door Coffeeshop: Changing Lives One Cup at a Time

For a quarter of his life, Kevin Persons lived on the street. Today, he is working behind the counter of an espresso bar, serving coffee and working to transition off the streets and into a home. Paul Vargas reports for VOA.
Video

Video Modular Robot Getting Closer to Reality

A robot being developed at Carnegie Mellon University has evolved into a multi-legged modular mechanical snake, able to move over rugged surfaces and explore the surroundings. Scientists say such machines could someday help in search and rescue operations. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Shanghai Hosts Big Consumer Electronics Show

Electronic gadgets are a huge success in China, judging by the first Asian Consumer Electronics Show, held this week in Shanghai. Over the course of two days, more than 20,000 visitors watched, tested and played with useful and some less-useful electronic devices exhibited by about 200 manufacturers. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Forced to Return Home, Afghan Refugees Face Increased Hardship

Undocumented refugees returning to Afghanistan from Pakistan have no jobs, no support system, and no home return to, and international aid agencies say they and the government are overwhelmed and under-resourced. Ayesha Tanzeem has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Britain Makes Controversial Move to Crack Down on Extremism

Britain is moving to tighten controls on extremist rhetoric, even when it does not incite violence or hatred -- a move that some are concerned might unduly restrict basic freedoms. It is an issue many countries are grappling with as extremist groups gain power in the Middle East, fueled in part by donations and fighters from the West. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video 3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Car

Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Al-Shabab Recruitment Drive Still on In Kenya

The al-Shabab militants that have long battled for control of Somalia also have recruited thousands of young people in Kenya, leaving many families disconsolate. Mohammed Yusuf recently visited the Kenyan town of Isiolo, and met with relatives of those recruited, as well as a many who have helped with the recruiting.
Video

Video A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensions

When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.

VOA Blogs