News / Middle East

Iranian Official Says Tehran Has Own Agenda for Nuclear Talks

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (File Photo)
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (File Photo)

After accepting a fresh Western proposal to resume nuclear talks in Vienna, Tehran appears to be disputing the agenda.  A close aide to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad says Iran has its own conditions for resuming the talks.  

Iran is sending out mixed signals about its willingness to discuss key provisions of its nuclear program in talks proposed to begin November 15th in Vienna.  Iran agreed to the talks with the United States and five other U.N. members on Friday.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad explained to government TV that Tehran is willing to discuss certain topics that it has agreed upon, and on its own terms. He said Iran has sent a letter to the International Atomic Energy Agency expressing its position and a framework for the talks.  He insists that negotiations be based on what he calls "justice and respect," but complains that the Western side has not clarified its position.

Mr. Ahmadinejad's press advisor Ali Akbar Javanfekr expressed further reservations, according to Fars News Agency, stating Iran "would not just talk about the nuclear energy issue."  He said that Tehran also wants the West to clarify its position over Israeli nuclear weapons and policies.

Former Iranian President Abolhassan Bani Sadr, who lives in exile in France, points out that inside Iran, many officials have been wondering recently why the West has not offered to resume negotiations, sooner. He said Iran has been in a defensive position since the June U.N. Security Council sanctions resolutions, and the West has seemed less and less inclined to negotiate.  He points out Iranian leaders have been wondering recently why the West does not want to negotiate with Iran.

The former president says Mr. Ahmadinejad must appease his critics inside the regime, who will complain he is negotiating from a position of weakness. "By appearing to set new conditions," he explains, "Ahmadinejad can say Iran has imposed its own point of view."

Mr. Bani Sadr also notes that Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei recently called for a hardline position in nuclear talks with the West, during his visit to the holy city of Qom. He said Ayatollah Khamenei condemned the late Ayatollah Montazeri, who at one time was destined to become Iran's supreme leader, over his position to settle the nuclear crisis with the West in an amicable way.  Khamenei, he says, called Montazeri's plan a "position of weakness," but would not stipulate what his own position of strength was.

Iran failed to accept a draft UN proposal in Oct. 2009 to send around 60 percent of its enriched-uranium stockpile abroad, for further enrichment.  It also began to produce 20-percent grade highly enriched uranium in February, amid Western criticism.  Iran has repeatedly refused to obey U.N. injunctions to stop enriching uranium.

Iran insists it needs to enrich uranium for peaceful, civilian purposes, but the West fears that it is covertly working to build nuclear weapons.

You May Like

VOA Exclusive: Interview With Myanmar President Thein Sein

Thein Sein calls allegations that minority Muslim Rohingya are fleeing alleged torture in Rakhine state a media fabrication More

Video Better Protective Suit Sought for Ebola Caregivers

Current suit is uncomfortable, requires too many steps for removal, increasing chance of deadly contact with virus 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

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

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