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

Video Experts Warn World Losing Ebola Fight

Doctors Without Borders says world is losing battle against Ebola, unless wealthy nations dispatch specialized biological disaster response teams More

Video Experts: Rise of Islamic State Significant Development in Jihadism

Many analysts contend the group - which grew out of al-Qaida in Iraq - has been rebuilding for years More

US-Based Hong Kongers Pledge Support for Pro-Democracy Activists

Democracy advocates call on Chinese living abroad to join them in opposing new election rules for their home territory 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.
Larger Than Life Chinese Lanterns Make Southern California Appearancei
X
Elizabeth Lee
September 02, 2014 8:57 PM
Chinese lanterns with a long history are lighting up in 21st century style at the Los Angeles County Fair in southern California. Visitors can see traditional lanterns that hang, but also lanterns in the shape of animals, iconic landmarks and many other objects, all created by artisans from a place in China known for its lanterns. Elizabeth Lee has the details from the fair in the city of Pomona.
Video

Video Larger Than Life Chinese Lanterns Make Southern California Appearance

Chinese lanterns with a long history are lighting up in 21st century style at the Los Angeles County Fair in southern California. Visitors can see traditional lanterns that hang, but also lanterns in the shape of animals, iconic landmarks and many other objects, all created by artisans from a place in China known for its lanterns. Elizabeth Lee has the details from the fair in the city of Pomona.
Video

Video Experts See Rise of ISIS as Significant Development

The Islamic State’s rise seems sudden. It caught the U.S. by surprise this summer when it captured large portions of northern Iraq and spread its wings in neighboring Syria. But many analysts contend that the group - which grew out of al-Qaida in Iraq - has been rebuilding for years. VOA's Jela de Franceschi takes a closer look at the rise of ISIS and its implications for the Middle East and beyond.
Video

Video Israel Concerned Over Syrian Rebels in Golan

Israeli officials are following with concern the recent fighting between Syrian rebels and government forces near the contested Golan Heights. Forty-four U.N. peacekeepers from Fiji have been seized by Syrian Islamist rebels and the clashes occasionally have spilled into Israel. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forces

A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video US Detainees Want Negotiators for Freedom in North Korea

The three U.S. detainees held in North Korea were permitted to speak with foreign media Monday. The government of Kim Jong Un restricted the topics of the questions, and the interviews in Pyongyang were limited to five minutes. Each of the men asked Washington to send a representative to Pyongyang to secure his release. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti has our story.
Video

Video Turkmen From Amerli Describe Survival of IS Siege

Over the past few weeks, hundreds of Shi'ite Turkmen have fled the town of Amerli seeking refuge in the northern city of Kirkuk. Despite recent military gains after U.S. airstrikes that were coordinated with Iraqi and Kurdish forces, the situation remains dire for Amerli’s residents. Sebastian Meyer went to Kirkuk for VOA to speak to those who managed to escape.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered at the Union League Club in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.

AppleAndroid