News / Middle East

    Iran, World Powers to Meet Again on Nuclear Issues

    Iran, World Powers to Meet Again on Nuclear Issuessi
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    Scott Stearns
    November 04, 2013 9:57 AM
    International nuclear negotiators meet again with Iran's foreign minister this week for talks on limiting the country's nuclear program because of concerns that Tehran may be trying to develop atomic weapons. Iran is working to end crippling economic sanctions by bringing new proposals to those negotiations. But U.S. allies Israel and Saudi Arabia believe the Obama administration is moving too quickly. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns has the story.
    Iran, World Powers to Meet Again on Nuclear Issuess
    International nuclear negotiators will meet with Iran's foreign minister again this week for talks on limiting the country's nuclear program. Some nations fear that Tehran may be trying to develop atomic weapons. Iran is hoping to bring to an end crippling economic sanctions by offering new proposals at the upcoming negotiations. However, U.S. allies Israel and Saudi Arabia believe the Obama administration is moving too quickly.
     
    As the United Nations nuclear agency reports "productive" talks with Iran over long-delayed inspections of its atomic facilities, the United States says it welcomes the opportunity to test whether Iran is willing to submit to international standards.
     
    "Some have suggested that somehow there’s something wrong with even putting that to the test. I suggest that the idea that the United States of America as a responsible nation to all of humankind would not explore that possibility would be the height of irresponsibility and dangerous in itself, and we will not succumb to those fear tactics and forces that suggest otherwise," said U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry.
     
    Among those concerned about overtures from Iran's new government are long-time U.S. allies Israel and Saudi Arabia.
     
    "When you hear the Saudis talking about what needs to be done in order to prevent a [nuclear-armed] Iran, I mean it sounds familiar. I think that you can hear that Arabic sounds familiar to Hebrew when it comes to Iran," said Israeli Justice Minister Tzipi Livni.
     
    Livni also said that Israel wants to cooperate with Arab governments that are equally wary of Iran.
     
    "Unfortunately, the open conflict between Israel and the Palestinians makes it impossible or very difficult for them to act with Israel against Iran. Because when it comes to public opinion in their own state, Israel is still the enemy," explained Livni.
     
    Washington has not done enough to ease Saudi and Israeli concerns about these nuclear talks, according to Adam Ereli, the former U.S. ambassador to Bahrain.
     
    "Their nervousness is understandable because they're seeing what is happening in Washington and New York, and they're not hearing anything differently privately from senior levels of the U.S. government," said Ereli.
     
    He believes that the nervousness about Iran's intentions is well founded.
     
    "I think their goal is to develop a nuclear weapon. And they're not going to accept limitations that prevent them from that, even for sanctions relief," said Ereli.
     
    Iran claims that it is not trying to develop atomic weapons, but is merely pursuing a peaceful civilian nuclear program. Iranian state media said talks in late October with the U.N. nuclear watchdog broke the "deadlock" between Iran and the agency.
     
    Progress on negotiations follows the election of President Hassan Rouhani, who is setting a new course for Iran, according to American University professor Akbar Ahmed.
     
    "I think there's a belief already coming out of Iran that we can and we must work within the international quarter, within the frame of the community of nations, and that we want to come in out of the cold," said Ahmed.
     
    Kerry points out that the United States expects concrete action from Iran, not just talk.
     
    "Our eyes are wide open. The actions must be real. They must be fully verifiable. They must get the job done. And no words can replace those actions," said Kerry.
     
    Kerry made plain that only verifiable actions will lead to the easing of U.S. and European Union sanctions. The sanctions have seen Iranian oil exports fall by more than one million barrels per day, fueling inflation and undermining the value of Iran's currency.

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    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Change Iran Now from: USA
    November 04, 2013 9:41 PM
    The Iranian regime has continued to defy the international community over its nuclear program, and as a result faces ever increasing sanctions and isolation. The regime has shown no intention of changing it nuclear policy, and has repeatedly stated that its course is irreversible. Many Iranians and westerners have questioned the use of sanctions and whether they are an effective tool against the regime, or a threat to the domestic population. But little attention has been paid as to who is behind these efforts to remove sanctions, and how they aim to benefit from business with Tehran. If the next round of nuclear talks fails to produce real concessions from the Iranians, the U.S. should stop this piecemeal approach and take all of Iran’s oil off the market for good.

    by: Ramnarayan from: Florida, USA
    November 04, 2013 4:48 PM
    Suddenly every body is a foreign policy expert. It is strange that Israel and the Saudis are agreeing for a change. So, why not the US try it's hand on diplomacy with Iran? Perpetual animosity between Iran and the West is not in the best interest of the world. Maybe the Saudi King would prefer it. The US should reserve the right to pursue peace and if the allies don't like it, let them go take a hike. The king would be happy to keep the two factions fighting so that internal dissent can be buried. Granted the US has to be careful about promises by Iran without backing up, but then the Iranians can also feel the same way. Give diplomacy a chance.

    by: Godwin from: Nigeria
    November 04, 2013 12:51 PM
    Lowering the guard because you want to try what new proposal Iran is proffering is to speak like a schoolboy. There is a difference between intellectual, academic exercise and diplomacy. Compared to George Bush and/or Ronald Regan's diplomacy, one sees a pulp diplomacy in Obama's approach to important issues as nuclear program in Iran and use of chemical weapons by Syria. USA has shown the world a very weak standpoint on diplomacy that shows all Obama wants is talks and more talks of promises whether intended or not to make a pretense of recognizing the US military capability.

    I bet many things happening now, being covered by the quisling American press to present a classroom teacher as the most effective president America ever had, would never happen if someone else - be it Democrat or Republican - was on the seat at the White House. Having to jump up and laugh out loud because Assad tended to give in to seeming pressure of military threat, or Iran acceding to nuclear negotiation, is just stupid and childish. For while you make such slow pace of negotiations and plans, Iran is busy working its program until the 9 months before it achieved a nuclear warhead.

    Surely the world and USA will regret a season of naive diplomacy that is as purposeless as it is blank with ideas how to move forward. At the time this regime at the white house is out of office and the world is faced with the greatest threat of an Iranian nuclear bomb, there will be no friendly press to cover up the naivety of today. Time will tell.

    by: PermReader
    November 04, 2013 11:22 AM
    Blah,blah - time Bomb is ticking!

    by: Kafantaris from: Warren, Ohio
    November 04, 2013 5:49 AM
    We can't stop a country from learning nuclear physics, or dispense permision to do so like the Pope dispensed indulgences in Martin Luther's time.
    This doesn't mean, however, that we should abandon all efforts to convince rogue nations to use nuclear technology for peaceful purposes. Indeed, if we accept the premise that a country's might in today's world is gauged by its economic strength, then monitored and open development of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes should be allowed to proceed.
    Iran has said in the past that it wants to make electricity with the nuclear material it has been producing. It should be allowed to do so, and also use the nuclear power on site for electrolysis to make hydrogen -- which can be used for petroleum production, chemicals, and as raw fuel for transportation; hydrogen has a fast burning speed, high octane, and poses no danger to ozone.
    As for the images of Hindenburg etched in our minds, hydrogen actually has wider flammability limit in air than either natural gas or gasoline.
    True, nuclear plants are unpopular and rightfully so. Yet we should acknowledge that they offer us the best means to date to make the volume of hydrogen we need to move forward with the inevitable hydrogen economy. Since Iran might have fewer regulatory delays, it might even be able to get started on nuclear hydrogen production faster and get a leg-up on the market.
    The UN should, therefore, encourage the regulated peaceful use of nuclear energy and provide the framework to implement it openly and safely -- with all necessary redundancy for monitoring and compliance. Moreover, Iran should not object to the overbearing scrutiny, not only because it is needed to alleviate fears, but also because it is needed to enhance collaboration for economic growth -- again, the only yardstick left to measure strength in today's world.
    And see http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/energy-environment/top-climate-scientists-ask-environmentalists-to-support-nuclear-power-in-climate-battle/2013/11/03/79a345b0-4473-11e3-95a9-3f15b5618ba8_story.html

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