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

Video VOA ‘Town Hall’ Shines Light on Ebola Crisis

Experts call for greater speed in identification and treatment of deadly disease More

UN Rights Commission Investigates Eritrea

Three-member commission will start collecting first-hand information from victims and other witnesses in Switzerland and Italy next week More

Funding Program Helps Extremely Poor in Ghana

Broad objective for Ghana's social cash transfer program is to lessen the impact of poverty on the most vulnerable people, elderly, orphans, those with disabilities More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concernsi
X
November 19, 2014 11:39 PM
The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Mexico Protests Escalate Over Disappearances

Protests in Mexico over 43 students missing since September continue to escalate, reflecting growing anger among Mexicans about a political system they view as corrupt, and increasingly tainted by the drug trade. Mounting outrage over the disappearances is now focused on the government of President Enrique Pena Nieto, accused of not doing enough to end insecurity in the country. More from VOA's Victoria Macchi.
Video

Video US Senate Votes Down Controversial Oil Pipeline - For Now

The U.S. Senate has rejected construction of a controversial pipeline to transport Canadian oil to American refineries. The $5 billion project still could be approved next year, but it faces a possible veto by President Barack Obama. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, the pipeline has exposed deep divisions in Congress about America’s energy future.
Video

Video Can Minsk Cease-fire Agreement Hold?

Growing tensions between government troops and separatists in eastern Ukraine further threaten a cease-fire agreement reached two months ago in the Belarusian capital of Minsk. Critics of U.S. policy in Ukraine say it is time the Obama administration gives up on that much-violated cease-fire and moves toward a new deal with Russia. VOA's Scott Stearns has more.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Ferguson Church Grapples with Race Relations

Many white residents of Ferguson, Missouri, say they chose to live there because of the American Midwest community's diversity. So, they were shocked when a white police officer killed an unarmed black teenager in August – and shaken by the resulting protests and violence. Some local churches are leading conversations on how to go forward. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports.
Video

Video What Jon Stewart Learned About Iran From 'Rosewater'

Jon Stewart, host of the satirical news program "The Daily Show" talks with Saman Arbabi of Voice of America's Persian service about Stewart's directorial debut, "Rosewater."
Video

Video Lebanese Winemakers Thrive Despite War Next Door

In some of the most volatile parts of Lebanon, where a constant flow of refugees crosses the border from Syria, one industry continues to flourish against the odds. Lebanese winemakers say after surviving a brutal civil war in the 1970s and 80s, they can survive anything. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from the Bekaa Valley in Lebanon.
Video

Video China's Rise Closely Watched

China’s role as APEC host this week allowed a rare opportunity for Beijing to showcase its vision for the global economy and the region. But as China’s stature grows, so have tensions with other countries, including the United States. VOA’s Bill Ide in Beijing reports on how China’s rise as a global power is seen among Chinese and Americans.

All About America

AppleAndroid