News / Middle East

Iran Issues Warning Ahead of Nuclear Talks

Iran, US Outline Expectations for Nuclear Talksi
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November 20, 2013 5:59 AM
Iran's foreign minister has expressed optimism that significant progress can be made in the new round of nuclear talks in Geneva. But he says progress will depend on Tehran having what he calls "equal footing." VOA's Pam Dockins explains.
Watch related video from VOA's Pamela Dockins
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Iran's Supreme leader says Tehran will not retreat on its nuclear rights, as negotiators from his country and a group of six world powers meet again Wednesday in Geneva.

Speaking ahead of the latest round of talks on Iran's nuclear program,  Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said that he set "red lines" for his negotiators, but also that Iran wants to be friendly with all nations, including the United States.

The five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council, along with Germany, want an interim agreement that calls for Iran to stop some of its enrichment activity and accept more inspections in return for limited sanctions relief.

Michael Mann, spokesman for European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, told VOA's Persian News Network that while it is hard to predict the outcome, it is clear the talks are serious.

"I think the fact that we've come back to Geneva so soon after, it was just 10 days after the last round, shows how serious the negotiations are," Mann said.

Both sides have expressed hope for working out a deal in the decade-long standoff.

Iran's foreign minister and chief nuclear negotiator Javad Zarif said in a video posted on YouTube that there is "every possibility" of coming to an agreement.

WATCH: Related video report
Iran Nuclear Talks Resume Wednesdayi
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November 20, 2013 9:12 AM
Obama says a deal between Iran and six Western nations may not be reached after a second round of talks over Iran's nuclear program resumes Wednesday in Geneva.

British Prime Minister David Cameron's office said he and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani agreed in a telephone call Tuesday that "significant progress" was made in the last round of talks earlier this month.

The statement said Cameron also stressed the need for Iran to address the concerns of the international community, which has called for assurances that Iran is not trying to develop nuclear weapons.  Iran has repeatedly denied those accusations, saying its nuclear activity is solely for peaceful purposes.

Zarif repeated warnings that Iran will not back down from what it argues is its right to enrich uranium, but said it will no longer insist that Western powers publicly acknowledge that right as a precondition for negotiations.

Also Tuesday, a senior U.S. lawmaker said Congress will not vote on any new economic sanctions against Iran while the talks continue.

Senator Bob Corker, ranking Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, speaks to members of the media outside the West Wing of the White House, Nov. 19, 2013, following a meeting with President Barack Obama.Senator Bob Corker, ranking Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, speaks to members of the media outside the West Wing of the White House, Nov. 19, 2013, following a meeting with President Barack Obama.
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Senator Bob Corker, ranking Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, speaks to members of the media outside the West Wing of the White House, Nov. 19, 2013, following a meeting with President Barack Obama.
Senator Bob Corker, ranking Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, speaks to members of the media outside the West Wing of the White House, Nov. 19, 2013, following a meeting with President Barack Obama.
Senator Bob Corker spoke after taking part in a meeting with other key Senate leaders at the White House, where President Barack Obama asked for the delay to further pursue diplomacy before considering other steps.

Corker did not offer details of the meeting, and did not say how long a delay the president requested.  But he said no new sanctions amendments to the annual congressional defense bill will be considered before the end of the month, after the November 28 U.S. holiday of Thanksgiving.

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by: antony sardini from: sacramento
November 21, 2013 3:54 PM
Why should some conutries have bombs and some not?

Would USA uses its nuclear bombs if China lands its troops in California and advance toward Washington D.C.?

Honest... If you have bomb you will use it when your back is against the wall.

So; Bombs for All or Bombs for None

by: Change Iran Now from: USA
November 20, 2013 10:34 PM
Sanctions against Iran should be relaxed only after the machinery and materials necessary to develop a nuclear weapon are destroyed or moved out of the country. In addition, this must be strictly monitored. Additionally, nuclear negotiations must include human rights considerations. As a party to several human rights treaties and as a Member State of the United Nations, Iran is legally obligated to protect the civil, political and religious rights of its citizens. Since the Iranian Revolution in 1979, Iran has been involved in large-scale abuses of human rights, including systematic persecution of religious minorities and severe restrictions on the freedoms of expression and assembly. Iran needs to be held accountable for its acts and behavior.

by: George from: USA
November 20, 2013 3:17 PM
The U.S. is again moving the goal post and has not intention of ending this farce. I guess Netanyahu again has managed to rule U.S. foreign policy.

There is ZERO evidence that Iran has any interest in nuclear weapons. All this ballyhoo about Iran's nuclear program is just an excuse. The West has no intention of ending this comedy of errors. It main goal is to destroy Iran's economy so that the U.S. and Israel will maintain their hegemony over the Middle East.

by: Robert Clarkson from: USA
November 20, 2013 9:27 AM
I agree with the French guy here, and call your attention to the devastation wrought to the Western alliance by the craven cowardly betrayal of Hosni Mubarak of Egypt and its subsequent alliance with the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood. Mubarak was an event that shook the western alliance to its core... comparable only to the US betrayal of the Shah of Iran. and now, we have an attempt to betray Israel - Israel which is as American as Texas or New York... the level of incompetence is beginning to be a national security concern.
In Response

by: Marion B. from: USA
November 20, 2013 11:41 AM
I have always said that i feel much more comfortable and trust explicitly the Israeli yahoo than the Obama administration to protect our US interests. and I completely agree that this is a national security crisis - well, this, and Obamacare... we have a crisis of confidence here. and one last thing... I have been to Israel - its NYC... and Texas will never be THAT liberal...

by: Burdoux from: France
November 20, 2013 7:40 AM
the biggest mistake the US can make is to trust its security to the "diplomatic" skills of a particularly idiotic guy like John Kerry... - Iran is a Shiite Revolutionary cause... it is not going to be appeased or reconciled or bound by agreement... it has a mission... and the mission is the destruction of international order... look, you have got to read history to understand this... you don't bargain with theocratic Fascism - you have to defeat it!!
In Response

by: Godwin from: Nigeria
November 20, 2013 9:14 AM
Tell your president who is as gullible as anything you can think of. He has placed embargo on Congress to do anything to rouse Iran to action. Obama is more fascist than Iran and I believe on good grounds he is also a shiite muslim - his preference for Iran against existing relations with Saudi Arabia.

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