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.
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

Mood Tense Ahead of Scotland Independence Vote

As race to persuade undecided voters continues, No voters say they believe life in Scotland will slowly improve and do not want to take a risk by endorsing independence More

South Africa’s 'Open Mosque' Admits Everyone, Including Critics

Open Mosque founder plans to welcome gay worshipers and allow women to lead prayers More

Ukrainian Activist in Despair About Future of Her Country

IrIna Dovgan, accused of being a spy and tortured by pro-Russian separatists, is appealing to UN Human Rights Council to support her country 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.
A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Wateri
X
September 17, 2014 8:44 PM
Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.
Video

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

China says its has sentenced three men to death and one woman to life in prison for a deadly knife attack in March that left more than 30 dead and 140 injured. Beijing says Muslim militants from China's restive western region of Xinjiang carried out the attacks. Now, more than six months after the incident, residents in the city are still coping with the aftermath. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Kunming.
Video

Video Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Community

Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid