News / Middle East

World Powers, Iran Agree to Resume Nuclear Talks

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, left, and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif attend a meeting of the five permanent members of the Security Council plus Germany during the 68th session of the United Nations General Assembly at U.N. headquarters, Sept. 25, 2013.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, left, and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif attend a meeting of the five permanent members of the Security Council plus Germany during the 68th session of the United Nations General Assembly at U.N. headquarters, Sept. 25, 2013.
Margaret Besheer
Major powers have agreed with Iran to resume talks about its suspect nuclear program next month in Geneva.  

The foreign ministers of the five permanent Security Council powers plus Germany met with their Iranian counterpart, Mohammad Javad Zarif, late Thursday.

President Hassan Rouhani has designated Minister Zarif as his lead nuclear negotiator.

European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said they had a good and substantive meeting.

“I am pleased that we’ve agreed to meet in Geneva on 15 and 16 of October to pursue the agenda, to carry on from today’s meeting and to hopefully move this process forward," said Ashton.

The October talks will be the first round of substantive negotiations on Iran's nuclear program since April.

Ashton said timetables were discussed.

“We were interested to see that they are all of an ambitious nature.  The question is how far you can go in three months or six months or 12 months.  And 12 months is a good time frame to think about some serious implementation on the ground.  But for me, what really matters now, is that we get down to the detail and actually work out what will happen, when it will happen, how we know it’s happened, how we move forward building confidence as we go to get to that point," she said.

World Powers, Iran Agree to Resume Nuclear Talksi
September 27, 2013 2:29 AM
Major powers have agreed with Iran to resume talks about its suspect nuclear program next month in Geneva.

Iran says its nuclear program is intended to produce nuclear energy for civilian use, but the international community worries Tehran is secretly trying to build nuclear bombs.

Thursday’s meeting was the highest-level direct contact between the United States and Iran in several years as Secretary of State John Kerry sat side-by-side with the Iranian foreign minister.  Although positive about the session, Secretary Kerry was cautious.

"Needless to say, one meeting and a change in tone - which was welcome - doesn’t answer those questions yet and there is a lot of work to be done.  So we will engage in that work, obviously, and we hope very, very much, all of us, that we can get concrete results that will answer the outstanding questions regarding the program," said Kerry.

Minister Zarif was also upbeat, saying the discussions were substantive and businesslike.

“We hope to be able to make progress towards resolving this issue in a timely fashion, based on respecting the rights of the Iranian people to nuclear technology for peaceful purposes, including enrichment, and at the same time making sure that there is no concern at the international level that Iran’s nuclear program is anything but peaceful," said Zarif.

Minister Zarif said as the process moves forward, sanctions imposed against his country for its nuclear program must be lifted.

Speaking to an audience in New York Thursday evening, President Rouhani addressed the nuclear issue, saying his country is a peaceful one.

“But for the Islamic Republic of Iran, all its activities have been within the safeguards agreement and have continued to be, and will continue to be, under the supervision of the IAEA," said Rouhani.

Iranian officials are set to meet with the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna on Friday.

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Comment Sorting
by: Ajax from: Lessome
September 27, 2013 10:26 PM
Secretary of State, John Kerry must approach any negotiations with Foreign Minister Javad Zarif with the utmost caution and skepticism. Iran's verbal overtures are contradicted by their actions as exemplified by its backing terrorists in Iraq and Lebanon and assisting Assad in his brutal murder of over 100,000 Syrians. They have yet to acknowledge Israel's right to exist and still seek its destruction. The international community should be extremely worried that Iran is seeking nuclear fuel outside of the approved avenues of low-enriched nuclear fuel rods, but is instead seeking raw mineral that it can enrich itself to weapon grade. Iran poses an even bigger threat, since its nuclear arms stockpile is thought to be the largest in the Middle East, with longer-range missiles currently in the planning stages. If Iran wants nuclear power for peaceful uses, it has to submit to inspection and buy fuel rods and not enrich its own. During the negotiations, Javad Zarif will demand massive sanctions relief, which he will receive from an anxious administration desperate to keep Iran from a nuke. Once the Iranian economy is stabilized and the oil starts flowing, Khamenei will give into his irresistible urge to break out to a weapon and test it. At that point, Khamenei and Rouhani will have achieved their objective of a nuclear armed Iran with a stable economy and regional dominance. Actions speak louder than words and so far Iran has merely engaged in rhetoric and nothing more. Pursuing a diplomatic solution with Iran is desirable, but we need to see Iran change its ways not just its words. Iran also needs to clean up its human rights record and halt the barbaric practice of public hangings, as well as reopen dissident news media and release political and religious prisoners. Iran also needs to halt its foreign adventures in supporting terror groups and smuggling arms in places like Syria. I am highly doubtful that this will occur given his long and loyal service to the regime as outlined on this site: Economic sanctions can be quickly lifted if Iran’s leaders, especially Khamenei, took some of these steps, but I am not hopeful of such a change in direction, which is why these new sanctions are extremely important to keep the pressure on.

by: Dr. Stephenson from: Cambridge UK
September 27, 2013 7:40 AM
British Intelligence has known for years that Israel is one of the most powerful nuclear nations in the world - some estimates report back to the Nineteen Sixties - an arsenal that rivals that of the US and Russia in size, complexity and destructive power - it simply incomprehensible that Iran will risk a confrontation with Israel on this issue... yet, we would do well to recognize the apocalyptic nature of the Iranian theocracy and allow Israel the freedom to reassert Western parameters over Islamic barbarities.

by: Yoshi from: Sapporo
September 27, 2013 12:20 AM
It is welcome that Iran is going to accept inspections to their neclear installations. President Rouhani looks doing good jobs. However, I wonder if he has strong power enough to complete his would-be peaceful policies keeping away with his opponents including ex-president.

by: Tony Bellchambers from: London
September 26, 2013 2:48 PM
Iran is calling, responsibly, for a COMPLETE BAN ON NUCLEAR WEAPONS IN THE MIDDLE EAST.

The world should support this initiative without reservation in a bid to avoid a catastrophic war that would damage the global economy for billions of people.

The first step if for Israel to declare all its undeclared nuclear weapons arsenal.

The UK and the EU support a NUCLEAR WEAPONS FREE ZONE.

by: Godwin from: Nigeria
September 26, 2013 1:09 PM
Rouhani said reaching a nuclear deal quickly could serve as a "beginning point" toward improving relations with Washington. Does this sound like Rouhani feels Washington is in dire need of Tehran and so is taunting Obama to expedite action to earn a relationship with Iran? Wonders shall never end. Once upon a time, all animals used to run away from the cock because they thought that the comb on its head was fire. They wondered if the cock could be that strong to carry fire on its head and not burnt, then it must be very powerful. But the cock wondered why the animals ran away from it and asked one of such excited animals who told him. He laughed, asked the animal to tough what he's carrying; "you see, it's not fire", it said. It happened that the animal it had revealed its secret to was the fox. You can bet that the cock did not go home that day with its head; and ever since, the fowl/cock is the best prey for the fox. I am not surprised that Iran is the one calling the shots now. Co0ngratulations Mr. Rouhani!

by: Tony Bellchamers from: London UK
September 26, 2013 12:20 PM
The current position of Iran has nothing whatsoever to do with the Holocaust in which 10 million Jews, Gypsies, Homosexuals and disabled were exterminated by the Nazis over a half a century ago.

The situation regarding Iran today is about the efforts of the Israeli government to try to coerce the US into attacking Iran after first making it bankrupt by economic sanctions.

Iran has no nuclear weapons whilst Israel is estimated to be the third most powerful nuclear weapons state in the world after the US and Russia but whose arsenal of hundreds of warheads is completely outside the IAEA. Furthermore, Israel has refused to be a party to the CWC that bans the use of chemical weapons. One has to speculate as to why.

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