News / Middle East

    IAEA Presses Iran Ahead of P5+1 Talks

    Satellite image provided by DigitalGlobe and the Institute for Science and International Security shows the military complex at Parchin, Iran, 30 kilometers southeast of Tehran, file photo 2004.
    Satellite image provided by DigitalGlobe and the Institute for Science and International Security shows the military complex at Parchin, Iran, 30 kilometers southeast of Tehran, file photo 2004.
    Sean Maroney
    The U.N. nuclear agency has again urged Iran to give it access to sites, people and documents it seeks as part of its probe into whether Tehran is trying to develop nuclear weapons.  

    The head of the International Atomic Energy Agency delegation in Vienna, Hermann Nackaerts, told reporters Monday that they are continuing the dialogue with Iran on its controversial nuclear program in "a positive spirit."

    "The aim of us today is to reach agreement on an approach to resolve all outstanding issues with Iran - in particular clarification of the possible military dimensions remains our priority," he said.

    Nuclear facilities and sites in Iran.Nuclear facilities and sites in Iran.
    x
    Nuclear facilities and sites in Iran.
    Nuclear facilities and sites in Iran.
    Western powers have long suspected Iran of seeking to develop nuclear weapons under the cover of a civilian energy program.  Tehran denies the allegations.

    One major issue on the agenda for the two days of talks is the IAEA's lack of access to Iran's Parchin military site near Tehran.

    Officials suspect Iran has built a container that could house nuclear explosives tests there, and Western diplomats accuse Tehran of trying to remove incriminating evidence before allowing U.N. inspectors inside the facility.  Iran has dismissed the allegations as being "childish" and "ridiculous."

    The five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany are following the Vienna meeting closely, ahead of their talks next week with Iranian officials in Baghdad.  The so-called P5+1 countries, which also include the United States, Britain, France, Russia and China, are seeking to assess the possible military capability of Iran's nuclear sites.

    Mark Fitzpatrick of the International Institute for Strategic Studies tells VOA that he expects Iran to continue stonewalling the IAEA, which he says could "cast a pall" over the Baghdad meeting. "Iran will demonstrate by its attitude in Vienna whether or not it is in a compromising position.  Even if Iran was willing to make some concessions to the IAEA, I expect that they will try to drag it out and try to get some benefits for it when they talk to their negotiating partners in Baghdad," he said.

    And if that is the case, Fitzpatrick says there is reason to hope that some sort of interim agreement might emerge from Baghdad that could "at least lower the [political] temperature." "It's not going to produce a solution to the problems, but maybe Iran will be willing to take enough steps to reduce the feeling that they are rushing to be able to produce nuclear weapons as soon as possible," he said.

    He says this could alleviate the "great pressure" Iran has been feeling under multiple rounds of international sanctions.

    On Monday, The Washington Post newspaper quoted unnamed U.S. officials as saying Iran has been routinely switching off satellite tracking systems on its sea-bound oil tankers since early April in an effort to circumvent sanctions.  The tactics are only modestly effective in hiding the massive tankers.  Iran relies on oil exports for the majority of its foreign currency earnings.

    The newspaper reports that the International Energy Agency is closely watching the situation, which if true, also would be a violation of maritime law.  

    Join the conversation on our social journalism site -
    Middle East Voices. Follow our Middle East reports on
    Twitter and discuss them on our Facebook page.

    You May Like

    Video As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

    Before burial at overflowing cemeteries, unidentified dead being swapped for DNA, in case some day relatives come to learn their fate

    Russian Opposition Leader Sues Putin for Conflict of Interest

    Alexei Navalny tells VOA in exclusive interview why transfer of $2 billion from country’s wealth fund to company with ties to President Putin’s son-in-law triggered lawsuit

    How Diversity Has Changed America

    Over the past four decades, the level of diversity in the United States has increased most in these four states

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments page of 2
        Next 
    by: dipper from: ny
    May 15, 2012 2:05 PM
    got to hope the changed israeli coalition leads to some more sensible diplomacy.

    by: nwcafesurfer
    May 14, 2012 10:10 PM
    beancube,
    Right, wrong, or indifferent; It’s a fact; if Israel didn't have their nukes (provided by us in the late 60's) they wouldn't be a country now & we would have a chapter in our history books titled “The Second Holocaust” Arab countries like Iran refuse to acknowledge Israel as a country.
    Tell you what, if the roles were swapped and Iran had nukes, and Israel didn’t (or was currently developing them). Who’s to say Iran wouldn’t have dropped one by now? Or perhaps “held” a nuke over their head & run them out of their country.

    by: D from: Buena Park
    May 14, 2012 6:55 PM
    If you are terrorist country or extremist views, than you can not join the nuclear club. Isreal does not talk about removing Iran from the face of the Earth.

    by: Kevin from: London
    May 14, 2012 6:46 PM
    How Israel offered to sell South Africa nuclear weapons (1975)
    From one apartheid government to another.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/may/23/israel-south-africa-nuclear-weapons

    by: kpitikos from: Las Vegas nv usa
    May 14, 2012 6:15 PM
    If Iranians Let the inspectors go in the military facilities fiftee minutes after they leave they notified the Zoinist state and USA what is there and where. They did that few months a go the confidedial report wsa in the internet ten minutes later..
    The only reason the USA want to send the inspectors to go ther is just to tell the Israelis where are all the military equipment and what .
    This is the reson they ask to go there. The Iranians they do not have to let the inspectors in the military facilities it is in the by LAWS of the IAEA and the only reason is now just to find all the defences of the IRANIANS SO they will tell the ZIONIST KILLERS WHAT AND WHERE TO ATTACT

    by: Ernest from: USA
    May 14, 2012 6:13 PM
    Israel is our only true ally in the middle east. We trade information with them to help keep track of terrorists who want to kill our citizens, as they did on 9/11. Our Constitution is based on many Judeo/Christian laws. Our moral code is founded on their principles. Of course we should defend them. And help them. They (Israel) are more like us,(USA) than most people realize. We are in this fight together. We must stop radical Islam. Luckily, we have them as boots on the ground alredy in the area. This fight won't be pretty.

    by: Bruce from: DC
    May 14, 2012 4:44 PM
    Iran is most definitely stalling. With US in talks with Afghanistan over future US bases, that would close the last remaining border effectively sealing Iran off on all sides with US military presence. To protect itself from this, and to ensure its survival, the only avenue has ever been the Nuclear Weapon route. A lesson Iran has learned well from the way in which the US has rewarded Pakistan and North Korea, after they got them. To neutralize Israel from ever attacking Iran to-boot, would be nothing short of a bonus in the eyes of Tehran, or rather, Qom. Check to take the US' queen, Mate Israel's king. The only choice is to lose so you can start another game, or upset the board.

    by: Zhuangmin from: Shijiazhuang Hebei China
    May 14, 2012 3:03 PM
    Zhuangmin wants to challenge all American.Zhuangmin wants to be the democracy teacher of modern American.The reason is that the Chinese democracy activists ,who the United States of America supports,are the barriers that affects Chinese to have pragmatic and rational democracy.Are there any Americans dare to challenge the eight programme of Zhuangmin thought?

    by: Gab to Beancube
    May 14, 2012 2:47 PM
    Israel has had nuclear capability for almost forty years. They have proven to be a good steward of this technology having never used or threatened to use it. What is this sudden crisis that you speak of? The banner of Islam flies over 99.9% of the Middle East land mass. There are people like John who want it to be 100%. The end game is obvious as Israel has no oil.

    by: Gab to Beancube and John
    May 14, 2012 2:37 PM
    FYI, There are twenty-eight other conflicts and border wars in the world today involving repressive Islamic regimes. Muslims are at odds with just about everybody- Muslim Shiites against Sunnis in Pakistan, Muslims against Hindus in India, Muslims against Christians in Nigeria, Muslims against Buddhists in Thailand, Muslims against Copts in Egypt, Muslims against Jews in Israel, Muslims against Christians the Philippines, Aceh (Indonesia), Kosovo (Serbia), Muslims against Maronites in Lebanon, Muslims against Hindus in Bangladesh, Muslims against Russian Orthodox, Muslims against Greek Cypriots, Muslims against non-Arab minorities in the Sudan, Muslims against Zoroastrians and Baha'i in Iran......
    Comments page of 2
        Next 

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Filli
    X
    Hamada Elsaram
    February 11, 2016 8:01 PM
    Aid workers on the Greek island of Lesbos say they are struggling to bury the increasing number of bodies of refugees that have been recovered or washed up ashore in recent months.  The graveyards are all full, they say, yet as tens of thousands of people clamor to get out of Syria, it is clear refugees will still be coming in record numbers. For VOA, Hamada Elrasam reports from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

    Aid workers on the Greek island of Lesbos say they are struggling to bury the increasing number of bodies of refugees that have been recovered or washed up ashore in recent months.  The graveyards are all full, they say, yet as tens of thousands of people clamor to get out of Syria, it is clear refugees will still be coming in record numbers. For VOA, Hamada Elrasam reports from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video To Fight Zika, Scientists Target Mosquitoes

    Mosquitoes strike again. The Zika virus outbreak is just the latest headline-grabbing epidemic carried by these biting pests, but researchers are fighting back with new ways to control them. VOA's Steve Baragona takes a look.
    Video

    Video Mosul Refugees Talk About Life Under IS

    A top U.S. intelligence official told Congress this week that a planned Iraqi-led operation to re-take the city of Mosul from Islamic State militants is unlikely to take place this year. IS took over the city in June 2014, and for the past year and a half, Mosul residents have been held captive under its rule. VOA's Zana Omar talked to some families who managed to escape. Bronwyn Benito narrates his report.
    Video

    Video Scientists Make Progress Toward Better Diabetes Treatment, Cure

    Scientists at two of the top U.S. universities say they have made significant advances in their quest to find a more efficient treatment for diabetes and eventually a cure. According to the International Diabetes Federation, the disease affects more than 370 million people worldwide. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video NATO to Target Migrant Smugglers

    NATO has announced plans to send warships to the Aegean Sea to target migrant smugglers in the alliance's most direct intervention so far since a wave of people began trying to reach European shores.
    Video

    Video Russia's Catholics, Orthodox Hopeful on Historic Pope-Patriarch Meeting

    Russia's Catholic minority has welcomed an historic first meeting Friday in Cuba between the Pope and the Patriarch of Russia's dominant Orthodox Church. The Orthodox Church split with Rome in 1054 and analysts say politics, both church and state, have been driving the relationship in the centuries since. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Used Books Get a New Life on the Streets of Lagos

    Used booksellers are importing books from abroad and selling them on the streets of Africa's largest city. What‘s popular with readers may surprise you. Chris Stein reports from Lagos.
    Video

    Video After NH Primaries All Eyes on South Carolina

    After Tuesday's primary in New Hampshire, US presidential candidates swiftly turned to the next election coming up in South Carolina. The so-called “first-in-the-South” poll may help further narrow down the field of candidates. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video US Co-ed Selective Service Plan Stirs Controversy

    Young women may soon be required to register with the U.S. Selective Service System, the U.S. government agency charged with implementing a draft in a national emergency. Top Army and Marine Corps commanders told the Senate Armed Services Committee recently that women should register, and a bill has been introduced in Congress requiring eligible women to sign up for the military draft. The issue is stirring some controversy, as VOA’s Bernard Shusman reports from New York.
    Video

    Video Lessons Learned From Ebola Might Help Fight Zika

    Now that the Ebola epidemic has ended in West Africa, Zika has the world's focus. And, as Carol Pearson reports, health experts and governments are applying some of the lessons learned during the Ebola crisis in Africa to fight the Zika virus in Latin America and the Caribbean.
    Video

    Video Smartphone Helps Grow Vegetables

    One day, you may be using your smartphone to grow your vegetables. A Taipei-based company has developed a farm cube — a small, enclosed ecosystem designed to grow plants indoors. The environment inside is automatically adjusted by the cube, but it can also be controlled through an app. VOA's Deborah Block has more on the gardening system.
    Video

    Video Illinois Voters Have Mixed Emotions on Obama’s Return to Springfield

    On the ninth anniversary of the launch of his quest for national office, President Barack Obama returned to Springfield, Illinois, to speak to the Illinois General Assembly, where he once served as state senator. His visit was met with mixed emotions by those with a front-row seat on his journey to the White House. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.
    Video

    Video Exhibit Turns da Vinci’s Drawings Into Real Objects

    In addition to being a successful artist, Renaissance genius Leonardo da Vinci designed many practical machines, some of which are still in use today, although in different forms. But a number of his projects were never realized — until today. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Heated Immigration Debate Limits Britain’s Refugee Response

    Compared to many other European states, Britain has agreed to accept a relatively small number of Syrian refugees. Just over a thousand have arrived so far -- and some are being resettled in remote corners of the country. Henry Ridgwell reports on why Britain’s response has lagged behind its neighbors.
    Video

    Video Russia's Car Sales Shrink Overall, But Luxury and Economy Models See Growth

    Car sales in Russia dropped by more than a third in 2015 because of the country's economic woes. But, at the extreme ends of the car market, luxury vehicles and some economy brands are actually experiencing growth. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.