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

Is Air Travel Safe?

Aviation expert says despite tragic losses of Malaysian Airlines flights 370 and 17, industry experienced lowest fatality rate in recorded history last year More

Multimedia 100 Days Later, Nigerian Girls Still Held

Activists holding rallies in Nigeria and several other countries to mark 100th day of captivity for more than 200 schoolgirls being held by Boko Haram More

Chocolate Too Bitter? Swap Sugar for Mushrooms

US food technology company develops fermentation process using mushrooms to reduce bitterness in cocoa beans, believes it will cut sugar content in candy More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Carriers Suspend Travel to Israeli
X
Carolyn Presutti
July 23, 2014 1:21 AM
The United States is prohibiting American carriers from flying to Israel's airport in Tel Aviv for 24 hours, because of rising violence between Israel and Hamas militants. The action was announced on Tuesday, after a rocket fired by Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip landed near the airport. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti tells us, international officials soon may have to determine which combat zones are too dangerous for commercial flights.
Video

Video US Carriers Suspend Travel to Israel

The United States is prohibiting American carriers from flying to Israel's airport in Tel Aviv for 24 hours, because of rising violence between Israel and Hamas militants. The action was announced on Tuesday, after a rocket fired by Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip landed near the airport. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti tells us, international officials soon may have to determine which combat zones are too dangerous for commercial flights.
Video

Video NASA Focuses on Earth-Like Planets

For decades, looking for life elsewhere in the universe meant listening for signals that could be from distant civilizations. But recent breakthroughs in space technology refocused some of that effort toward finding planets that may harbor life, even in its primitive form. VOA’s George Putic reports on a recent panel discussion at NASA’s headquarters, in Washington.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video US Awards Medal of Honor for Heroics in Bloodiest of Afghan Battles

U.S. combat troops are withdrawing from Afghanistan, on pace to leave the country by the end of this year. But on Monday, U.S. President Barack Obama took time to honor a soldier whose actions while under fire in Afghanistan earned him the Medal of Honor. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.

AppleAndroid