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

EU Court Fines Poland for Hosting CIA 'Black Sites'

Ruling is first time a court has acknowledged suspects were held and tortured at the sites, under US program launched following the 9/11 terrorist attacks More

Migrant Issues Close to Home Spur Groups to Take Action

Groups placing water, food in the desert, or aiding detainees after release, have one common goal: no more deaths of migrants crossing illegally into the US More

Video At AIDS Conference, Prevention Pill Stirs Excitement

Truveda shows promise, spurring debate over access and other approaches More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debatei
X
Shelley Schlender
July 24, 2014 6:43 PM
In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Death Toll From Israel-Gaza Conflict Surpasses 700

Gaza officials say a shelling hit a compound housing a United Nations-run school in the Gaza Strip, killing more than a dozen people, during an Israeli offensive in the area. Heavy fighting between the Israeli military and Hamas militants continued on Thursday, pushing up the death toll. So far, more than 730 Palestinians and 35 Israelis have been killed in the conflict. VOA's Scott Bobb has the latest from Jerusalem.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnels

The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video Researchers Target Low-Cost Avatar Technology

Scientists at the University of Southern California Institute for Creative Technologies say 3-dimensional representations could revolutionize social media. Elizabeth Lee has more from Los Angeles.
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 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.

AppleAndroid