News / Middle East

Iran, World Powers Moving Forward with 'Substantive' Nuclear Talks

General view prior to the start of the two days of closed-door nuclear talks on Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2013.
General view prior to the start of the two days of closed-door nuclear talks on Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2013.
VOA News
Iran and world powers will meet again in three weeks' time to continue what both sides are calling "substantive" negotiations to address international concerns about the country's nuclear program.

In the meantime, nuclear, scientific and sanctions experts will work to address the differences that have made the standoff stretch on for more than a decade.

The United States, Russia, China, France, Britain and Germany want Iran to prove it is not developing nuclear weapons, while Tehran is seeking relief from international sanctions aimed at forcing it to halt uranium enrichment activities.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Wednesday, after two days of talks in Geneva, that he hoped the negotiations will mark the beginning of a new phase in what he called 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 and that is what we are going to move forward and achieve in my view," said Zarif.

White House spokesman Jay Carney said the Geneva talks show "a level of seriousness and substance that we have not seen before," but warned against expecting a "prompt breakthrough" in the nuclear talks. He referred to a history of mistrust between Tehran and the West that he described as "very deep" and said U.S. analysts will also study details of private Iranian proposals to end the nuclear stalemate.

Senator Marco Rubio sought to keep pressure on Iran by introducing a non-binding resolution calling on Congress to adopt further sanctions if Iran does not give up its nuclear program. He said in a statement that Iran has "broken its word far too many times to be trusted."

Iran has long insisted its nuclear program is peaceful.

Rubio's action follows a group of 10 senators who sent a letter to U.S. President Barack Obama earlier this week saying they are open to suspending any new sanctions if Iran takes significant steps.

Details of the latest Iranian proposals have not been made public, but Tehran has said it would not accept earlier demands from the so-called P5+1 grouping to suspend uranium enrichment or to ship stockpiles of processed uranium abroad.

Those demands also include Iran's compliance with a comprehensive verification regime - with unannounced checks by U.N. inspectors - and a reduction in Iran's level of uranium enrichment.

Earlier Wednesday, Iran's state-run news agency IRNA quoted Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi as saying neither inspections nor uranium reduction issues have yet been addressed by Iranian negotiators. However, other Iranian officials say they will be presented in the second and third phase of negotiations.

The Geneva talks are the first since relative moderate Hassan Rouhani was elected Iran's president in June. He promised to lead a diplomatic effort to get economic sanctions against Iran eased, but P5+1 officials have said Iran must prove its sincerity through concrete steps before that will happen.

You May Like

Turkey's Controversial Reform Bill Giving Investors Jitters

Homeland security reform bill will give police new powers in search, seizure, detention and arrests, while restricting the rights of suspects, their attorneys More

Audio Slideshow In Kenyan Prison, Good Grades Are Path to Freedom

Some inmates who get high marks could see their sentences commuted to non-custodial status More

'Rumble in the Jungle' Turns 40

'The Champ' knocked Foreman out to regain crown he had lost 7 years earlier when US government accused him of draft-dodging and boxing officials revoked his license More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisiai
X
Henry Ridgwell
October 30, 2014 11:39 PM
Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisia

Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Africa Tells its Story Through Fashion

In Africa, Fashion Week is a riot of colors, shapes, patterns and fabrics - against the backdrop of its ongoing struggle between nature and its fast-growing urban edge. How do these ideas translate into needle and thread? VOA’s Anita Powell visited this year’s Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Africa in Johannesburg to find out.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.

All About America

AppleAndroid