News / Middle East

Iran, World Powers to Resume Nuclear Negotiations

In this photo released by the International Iran Photo Agency, technicians work at the Bushehr nuclear power plant, outside the southern city of Bushehr, August 23, 2010.In this photo released by the International Iran Photo Agency, technicians work at the Bushehr nuclear power plant, outside the southern city of Bushehr, August 23, 2010.
x
In this photo released by the International Iran Photo Agency, technicians work at the Bushehr nuclear power plant, outside the southern city of Bushehr, August 23, 2010.
In this photo released by the International Iran Photo Agency, technicians work at the Bushehr nuclear power plant, outside the southern city of Bushehr, August 23, 2010.
Meredith Buel
The United States and other world powers are scheduled to meet with Iran next week as part of efforts to curb that country’s controversial nuclear program and avoid an armed conflict in the Middle East.

The talks to be held in Baghdad on May 23 are the second in the latest round between Iran and the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany.

Western nations have long suspected Iran is seeking to develop nuclear weapons, a charge Iran denies. The Security Council has imposed several sets of sanctions on Iran to pressure it to curb its uranium enrichment program and other suspect activities.

Ahead of the Baghdad talks, Iranian and U.N. nuclear agency representatives have been meeting on allowing international inspectors access to Iran's disputed sites.  Analysts say advances in Vienna could set the stage for possible movement in the Baghdad talks.

Nicholas Burns, currently a professor at Harvard University, was the lead U.S. negotiator on Iran’s nuclear program.

“There is no argument around the world about what Iran is trying to do and that is to seek a nuclear weapons capability.  I think these talks in Baghdad will be, obviously, quite critical,” he said.

Along with the U.N. sanctions, Iran’s central bank has been slapped with tough new sanctions and the European Union has agreed to embargo Iranian oil as of July 1.

The West has demanded an end to Iran’s uranium enrichment, which Tehran sees as a matter of national sovereignty.

Steve Rademaker is a former State Department official who directed nonproliferation policy toward Iran.

“I think we have to keep our focus on Iran’s uranium enrichment program, which has always been the crown jewel of their nuclear weapons program," he said. "Any deal that permits them to continue enrichment I think is a bad deal for the United States.”

The United States and Israel have not ruled out military strikes to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon.

But rising concerns about an armed conflict cooled after talks last month in Istanbul when Iranian negotiators appeared more flexible than expected.

Dennis Ross is a former White House adviser on Iran now with the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.  Ross says the diplomatic track must move forward, but Iran should not be allowed to use the talks to buy time to build up its nuclear program.

“One is we can’t allow this to be an open-ended process because the Iranians actually will exploit it," he said. "But, two, we have to give it enough time to be credible and we have to be in a position where we also demonstrated we put something on the table that was credible and the Iranians turned it down.  In the end, if it turns out diplomacy fails and force has to be used, force needs to be seen as having been the product of the Iranians having brought this on themselves.”

U.S. intelligence officials say Iran is keeping open the option of developing nuclear weapons, but has not yet made the decision to build a bomb.

You May Like

Ukraine Purges Interior Ministry Leadership With Pro-Russian Ties

Interior Minister Avakov says 91 people 'in positions of leadership' have been fired, including 8 generals found to have links to past pro-Moscow governments More

US Airlines Point to Additional Problems of any Ebola Travel Ban

Airline officials note that even under travel ban, they may not be able to determine where passenger set out from, as there are no direct flights from Liberia, Guinea or Sierra Leone More

Nigerian President to Seek Another Term

Goodluck Jonathan has faced intense criticism for failing to stop Boko Haram militants More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid