News / Middle East

Iran, World Powers Seek Long-Term Nuclear Deal

Head of the U.S. delegation, Under Secretary of State Wendy Sherman (R), and an unidentified person leave a hotel in Vienna, Feb. 17, 2014.
Head of the U.S. delegation, Under Secretary of State Wendy Sherman (R), and an unidentified person leave a hotel in Vienna, Feb. 17, 2014.
TEXT SIZE - +
Al Pessin
— Negotiators from Iran and a group of six world powers are meeting Tuesday in Vienna to discuss a long-term agreement to ensure Iran's nuclear program is peaceful.

Iran says it has no interest in building a nuclear weapon, but the U.N. Security Council and many experts believe it is dangerously close to being able to do so, and wants changes to ensure it cannot.

The highly anticipated talks, which follow an interim deal in November that calls for Iran to cut back its most sensitive nuclear activity in exchange for limited sanctions relief, lasted just 45 minutes. Afterward, officials went into a series of often more productive bi-lateral sessions.

“During these negotiations on the comprehensive agreement, all concerns about the Iranian nuclear program will have to be addressed," said Michael Mann, spokesman for EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton. "The overall objective remains to seek a comprehensive solution that would ensure that Iran’s nuclear program is exclusively peaceful.”

Ashton, who is leading negotiations for the six world powers — the United States, Britain, China, France, Russia and Germany — held a meeting Monday night with Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif.

Despite November's breakthrough negotiations, some officials are giving today's talks no better than an even chance of reaching an accord. On Monday, Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khameini said he expects talks to “lead nowhere,” but that he believes effort should continue. President Barack Obama has said he gives the talks no more than a 50-percent chance of success.

New Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, who has much politically at stake in these talks, wants to deliver an improved economy to the Iranian people, which would require ending economic sanctions via a deal.

But according to nuclear policy expert Mark Hibbs of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, top officials in Tehran may not be comfortable accepting the deep cuts to their nuclear program that the talks are calling for.

“They are going to require Iran to make concessions and commitments over a very long period of time which circumscribe and indeed cut back the scope of the program," said Hibbs.

Mann on Tuesday would not provide details of the talks and did not know what sort of schedule the negotiators would follow. An Iranian official called the morning session a “very good beginning,” but said even deciding on an agenda for the future would be “a lot.”

Speaking on the condition of anonymity, a senior U.S. official who had said he expected today's talks to be “complicated, difficult and lengthy,” said a working relationship has developed with Iranian officials that did not exist before last year’s talks, and that implementation of the interim agreement reached in November is going smoothly.

You May Like

Analysts Warn of Regional Proxy Conflict in Afghanistan

Analysts warn if Kabul’s neighbors do not start to cooperate, competing desires for influence could deteriorate into a bloody proxy war in the country More

Saudi Intelligence Chief Replaced

Bandar bin Sultan came under criticism for supporting al Qaida, prompting King Abdallah to wrest Syria operations away from him in February, handing them to Interior Minister Prince Mohammed bin Nayef More

Poetry Magazine editor Don Share talks what makes a good poem with VOA's David Byrd

What makes a good poem? And is poetry as viable an art form as it once was? To find out, VOA's David Byrd spoke to Don Share, the editor of Poetry Magazine. More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid