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

Taiwan President Sounds Warning on Future of China Ties

Current Taiwan government has eased once dangerously tough relations with Beijing since 2008, but next year’s presidential election could change that course More

US Presidential Candidates Woo Hispanic Voters

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton reached out to Hispanic voters this past week in a bid to boost their voter support More

Video In 'He Named Me Malala,' Guggenheim Finds Normal in Extraordinary

Documentary is a close-up and personal view of young woman who has become of global symbol of courage and inspiration More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
House Republicans in Chaos as Speaker Favorite Withdrawsi
Jim Malone
October 09, 2015 12:32 AM
The Republican widely expected to become the next speaker of the House of Representatives shocked his colleagues Thursday by announcing he was withdrawing his candidacy. The decision by Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy means the race to succeed retiring Speaker John Boehner is now wide open. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.

Video House Republicans in Chaos as Speaker Favorite Withdraws

The Republican widely expected to become the next speaker of the House of Representatives shocked his colleagues Thursday by announcing he was withdrawing his candidacy. The decision by Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy means the race to succeed retiring Speaker John Boehner is now wide open. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.

Video German, US Officials Investigate Volkswagen

German officials have taken steps to restore some of the reputation their car industry has lost after a recent Volkswagen diesel emissions scandal. Authorities have searched Volkswagen headquarters and other locations in an effort to identify the culprits in the creation of software that helps cheat on emission tests. Meanwhile, a group of lawmakers in Washington held a hearing to get to the bottom of the cheating strategy that was first discovered in the United States. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video Why Are Gun Laws So Hard for Congress to Tackle?

Since taking office, President Barack Obama has spoken out or issued statements about 15 mass shootings. The most recent shooting, in which 10 people were killed at a community college, sparked outrage over the nation's gun laws. But changing those laws isn't as easy as many think. VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports.

Video Hungary Criticized for Handling of Refugees

Amnesty International has accused Hungary of breaking multiple international and European human rights laws in its handling of the refugee crisis. As Henry Ridgwell reports, thousands of migrants and refugees continue to travel through the Balkans to Hungary every day.

Video Iraqi-Kurdish Teachers Vow to Continue Protest

Sixteen people were injured when police used tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse teachers and other public employees who took to the streets in Iraq’s Kurdish north, demanding their salaries from the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG). VOA’s Dilshad Anwar, in Sulaimaniya, caught up with protesting teachers who say they have not been paid for three months. Parke Brewer narrates his report.

Video Syrian Village Community Faces Double Displacement in Lebanon

Driven by war from their village in southwestern Syria, a group of families found shelter in Lebanon, resettling en masse in a half-built university to form one of the biggest settlements of its kind in Lebanon. Three years later, however, they now face being kicked out and dispersed in a country where finding shelter as a refugee can be especially tough. John Owens has more for VOA from the city of Saida, also known as Sidon.

Video Bat Colony: Unusual Tourist Attraction in Texas

The action hero Batman might be everyone’s favorite but real bats hardly get that kind of adoration. Put more than a million of these creatures of the night together and it only evokes images of horror. Sarah Zaman visited the largest urban bat colony in North America to see just how well bat and human get along with each other.

Video Device Shows Promise of Stopping Motion Sickness

It’s a sickening feeling — the dizziness, nausea and vomiting that comes with motion sickness. But a device now being developed could stop motion sickness by suppressing certain signals in the brain. VOA’s Deborah Block reports.

Video Making a Mint

While apples, corn, and cranberries top the list of fall produce in the US, it’s also the time to harvest gum, candy, and toothpaste—or at least the oil that makes them minty fresh. Erika Celeste reports from South Bend, Indiana on the mint harvest.

Video Activists Decry Lagos Slum Demolition

Acting on a court order, authorities in Nigeria demolished a slum last month in the commercial capital, Lagos. But human rights activists say the order was illegal, and the community was razed to make way for a government housing project. Chris Stein has more from Lagos.

Video TPP Agreed, But Faces Stiff Opposition

President Barack Obama promoted the Trans-Pacific Partnership on Tuesday, one day after 12 Pacific Rim nations reached the free trade deal in Atlanta. The controversial pact that would involve about 40 percent of global trade still needs approval by lawmakers in respective countries. Zlatica Hoke reports Obama is facing strong opposition to the deal, including from members of his own party.

Video Ukranian Artist Portrays Putin in an Unusual Way

As Russian President Vladimir Putin was addressing the United Nations in New York last month, he was also being featured in an art exhibition in Washington. It’s not a flattering exhibit. It’s done by a Ukrainian artist in a unique medium. And its creator says it’s not only a work of art - it’s a political statement. VOA’s Tetiana Kharchenko has more.

VOA Blogs