News / Middle East

Iran's Rouhani: Nuclear Deal Possible by July 20

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani gestures as he speaks during a press conference in Tehran, Iran, Saturday, June 14, 2014.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani gestures as he speaks during a press conference in Tehran, Iran, Saturday, June 14, 2014.
Reuters
President Hassan Rouhani urged world powers on Saturday to cut a deal with Iran by a July 20 deadline to end a dispute over its nuclear program, arguing that in any case sanctions meant to restrict its atomic activity have frayed beyond repair.

He told a news conference in Tehran that the economic curbs had been softened by his government's policy of detente, replacing one of confrontation with the West, and "will not be rebuilt" even if the Islamic Republic and the six big powers fail to reach a final agreement by July 20.

"The disputes can be resolved with goodwill and flexibility ... I believe that the July 20 deadline can be met despite remaining disputes. If not, we can continue the talks for a month or more," he said.

"During the nuclear negotiations we have displayed our strong commitment to diplomacy," Rouhani went on, in comments broadcast live on state television. "(But even) if a deal can't be reached by July 20, conditions will never be like the past. The sanctions regime has been broken."

Iran and the powers will hold another round of talks in Vienna on June 16-20 to tackle a deadlock which has raised the likelihood that the deadline will lapse without a deal meant to head off the risk of a Middle East war over the nuclear issue.

An outright failure of the faltering talks would strengthen the position of conservative hardliners in Iran's clerical establishment against Rouhani, who has endeavoured to improve relations with the United States. The countries severed ties during a hostage crisis after the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

"The West should use this opportunity to reach a final deal in the remaining weeks. American hawks and Israel will be blamed for (any) failure of the talks," Rouhani said.

Israel, Iran's regional arch-foe, has cast doubt on whether diplomacy is capable of curbing in Iranian nuclear activity and, if it cannot, has threatened to bomb Iranian nuclear sites. Its scepticism is shared by hawkish supporters in the U.S. Congress.

The latest round of negotiations in Vienna last month ran into difficulties when it became clear that the number of centrifuge enrichment machines that Iran wanted to maintain was well beyond what would be acceptable to the West.

Resolution needs goodwill

Iran says it needs to maintain a domestic uranium enrichment capability to produce fuel for a planned network of nuclear power plants without having to rely on foreign suppliers.

Wary Western officials believe Iran will need many years to build any nuclear power station and that its underlying goal in enriching uranium is to be able to yield material for nuclear bombs at short notice, an allegation the Islamic state denies.

Iran, the United States, Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China set the July 20 deadline to reach a comprehensive agreement in an interim deal they reached in Geneva on Nov. 24.

The November pact - in which Iran suspended some sensitive nuclear activities in return for limited relief from sanctions - allowed a six-month extension if more time were needed for a final deal. The preliminary accord went into effect on Jan 20.

It is increasingly improbable that six world powers and Iran will meet the deadline, officials and analysts say.

While an extension is possible, experts believe both sides may come under pressure from critics at home to seek better terms during this extra period, further clouding the outlook.

Khamenei weighs in "nuclear rights"

In another sign of Iranian determination not to negotiate away its enrichment work, a top aide to clerical Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said Iran would never renounce its peaceful nuclear rights under pressure.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran will never be influenced by pressure exerted by others who seek to deprive Iran of its nuclear rights and will never back down from its rights,” Ali Akbar Velayati told the official IRNA news agency.

The two sides said last month that they had intended to start writing the text of a final agreement but the full-scale drafting did not actually begin.

Rouhani, a former chief nuclear negotiator for Tehran, said on Saturday that Iran and the powers might start drafting the final agreement in next week's talks.

"The major powers and Iran have agreed on two issues with Iran: We will continue our uranium enrichment activities and all sanctions on Iran will be lifted," he said, adding that no one would benefit from the collapse of the talks.

Iran now has about 19,000 centrifuges installed, of which roughly 10,000 are operating, according to the U.N. nuclear watchdog. Enriched uranium can have both civilian and military uses, depending on the degree of refinement.

You May Like

Obama: Alaskans Feel Signs of Climate Change

They're seeing bigger storm surges as sea ice melts, more wildfires, erosion of glaciers, shorelines More

Katrina Brought Enduring Changes to New Orleans

The city’s recovery is the result of the people and culture the city is famous for, as well as newcomers and start-up industries More

Magical Photo Slides Show Native Americans in Late 1800s

Walter McClintock spent 20 years photographing the Blackfoot Indians and their vanishing culture at the dawn of the modern age More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Iranfail from: USA
June 16, 2014 4:59 PM
I think we’re seeing now why a deal with Iran will inevitably fail and that is because the one non-negotiable part for Iran will be its insistence on significantly upgrading and expanding its refining capacity with next generation centrifuges. Zarif and other ranking officials, including Khamenei have drawn a line in the sand at refining capacity because with it, they could afford to give away almost every other concession to the West while still retaining the ability to quickly generate a stockpile of weapons grade material. Iran views this capacity as its trump card against the perceived threat posed by Israel and its final Billy club it can use against its neighbors since possessing the ability to quickly make bomb material is almost as good as the ability to build a bomb since Iran already possesses the technical knowhow to assemble and deliver a weapon thanks to North Korea technology transfers.

The West knows this which is why it has been insistent about cutting capacity, not expanding it and ultimately is what is causing Iran to issue muted calls for a six month extension in talks beyond the July deadline.

by: Donald Fraser Miles from: Elliot Lake, Canada
June 15, 2014 8:08 AM
Rouhani's leadership is an example of what can be achieved by single individuals. It should be remembered that the body of sub-leaders he governs don't give him unequivocal support. There is still a strong support for nuclear weapons acquisition in Iran. I do think Iran can at the least have its weapons program slowed down. It may be possible to stop it entirely. Rouhani represents a hope for Iranians and non-Iranians for peace. He is telling the West what it wants to hear. He can be held to a position amicable to both Iran and the West through a binding agreement. The creation of a binding agreement on Iran's weapons program will serve the interests of all. If Rouhani and his successors can deliver on peace, they should be entered into an agreement between Iran and the West. I don't consider him to be signing worthless agreements like Hitler did. I do think he wants peace and is willing to make concessions to achieve an economic normalization for Iran.

by: ADEL ALSHEAR from: NICE FRANCE
June 15, 2014 4:18 AM
THIS IS A NO BROTHER HOOD HSNN ALBNA IN BY ALL TIME . THIS IS A NO BSDRAN POLICE MLLAI IRAN IN BY ALL TIME . THIS IS A NO PSEJ POLICE MLALI IRAN IN BY ALL TIME . THIS IS A NO POLICE MLALI IRAN IN BY ALL TIME .
In Response

by: behee from: ca.usa
June 15, 2014 11:35 PM
I really can not follow your statement, if it is meant to be in code, which it looks like, I have one suggestion for you, we are in year 2014, not 600-700bc. pick up QURAN and read it by yourself and you will see, a moslim means surrender to peace , so do not get excited by bloodthirsty jihad seeker who are only after power and glory and not God.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalatesi
X
August 27, 2015 2:08 AM
Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Is China's Economic Data Accurate?

Some investors say China's wild stock market gyrations have been made worse by worries about the reliability of that nation's economic data. And some critics say the reports can mislead investors by painting an unrealistically-strong picture of the economy. A key China scholar says Beijing is not fudging ((manipulating)) the numbers, but that the economy is evolving quickly from smoke-stack industries to services, and the ways of tracking new economic activity are falling behind the change. V
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Shipping Containers Provide Experimental Housing

Housing prices around the San Francisco Bay area are out of reach for many people, so some young entrepreneurs, artists and tech industry workers are creating their own houses using converted shipping containers. But as VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Oakland, the effort requires ingenuity and dealing with restrictive local laws.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video Technique May Eliminate Drill-and-Fill Dental Care

Many people dread visiting dentists because they're afraid of drills. Now, however, a technology developed by a British firm promises to eliminate the need for mechanical cleaning of dental cavities by speeding a natural process of tooth repair. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.
Video

Video French Experiment in Integrating Roma Under Threat

Plans to destroy France’s oldest slum have sparked an outcry on the part of its Roma residents. As Lisa Bryant reports from the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, rights groups argue the community is a fledgling experiment on integrating Roma who are often outcasts in many parts of Europe.
Video

Video Kenyans Turn to Agriculture for Business

Each year Kenyan universities continue to churn out graduates for the job market despite the already existing high rate of unemployment among youth in the country. Some of these young men and women have realized that agriculture can be as rewarding as any other business or job, and they are resorting to agribusiness in large numbers as a way of tackling unemployment. Rael Ombuor reports for VOA.
Video

Video First Women Graduate Elite Army Ranger School

Two women are making history for the U.S. Army by proving they are among the toughest of the tough. VOA's Carla Babb reports from Fort Benning, Georgia as 94 men and those two women rise as graduates of the difficult Ranger school.

VOA Blogs