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

    Former US Envoys Urge Obama to Delay Troop Cuts in Afghanistan

    Keeping troop levels up during conflict with both Taliban and Islamic State is necessary to support Kabul government, they say

    First Lady to Visit Africa to Promote Girls' Education

    Michele Obama will be joined by daughters and actresses Meryl Streep and Freida Pinto

    Video NYSE Analyst: Brexit Will Continue to Place Pressure on Markets

    Despite orderly pricing and execution strategy at the New York Stock Exchange, analyst explains added pressure on world financial markets is likely

    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.
    Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Uncharted Territoryi
    X
    June 24, 2016 9:38 PM
    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Uncharted Territory

    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.
    Video

    Video Tunisian Fishing Town Searches for Jobs, Local Development Solutions

    As the European Union tries to come to grips with its migrant crisis, some newcomers are leaving voluntarily. But those returning to their home countries face an uncertain future.  Five years after Tunisia's revolution, the tiny North African country is struggling with unrest, soaring unemployment and plummeting growth. From the southern Tunisian fishing town of Zarzis, Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at a search for local solutions.
    Video

    Video 'American Troops' in Russia Despite Tensions

    Historic battle re-enactment is a niche hobby with a fair number of adherents in Russia where past military victories are played-up by the Kremlin as a show of national strength. But, one group of World War II re-enactors in Moscow has the rare distinction of choosing to play western ally troops. VOA's Daniel Schearf explains.
    Video

    Video Experts: Very Few Killed in US Gun Violence Are Victims of Mass Shootings

    The deadly shooting at a Florida nightclub has reignited the debate in the U.S. over gun control. Although Congress doesn't provide government health agencies funds to study gun violence, public health experts say private research has helped them learn some things about the issue. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
    Video

    Video Trump Unleashes Broadside Against Clinton to Try to Ease GOP Doubts

    Recent public opinion polls show Republican Donald Trump slipping behind Democrat Hillary Clinton in the presidential election matchup for November. Trump trails her both in fundraising and campaign organization, but he's intensifying his attacks on the former secretary of state. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.
    Video

    Video Muslim American Mayor Calls for Tolerance

    Syrian-born Mohamed Khairullah describes himself as "an American mayor who happens to be Muslim." As the three-term mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey, he believes his town of 6,000 is an example of how ethnicity and religious beliefs should not determine a community's leadership. Ramon Taylor has this report from Prospect Park.
    Video

    Video Internal Rifts Over Syria Policy Could Be Headache for Next US President

    With the Obama administration showing little outward enthusiasm for adopting a more robust Syria policy, there is a strong likelihood that the internal discontent expressed by State Department employees will roll over to the next administration. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports.
    Video

    Video Senegal to Park Colorful ‘Cars Rapide’ Permanently

    Brightly painted cars rapide are a hallmark of Dakar, offering residents a cheap way to get around the capital city since 1976. But the privately owned minibuses are scheduled to be parked for good in late 2018, as Ricci Shryock reports for VOA.
    Video

    Video Florida Gets $1 Million in Emergency Government Funding for Orlando

    The U.S. government has granted $1 million in emergency funding to the state of Florida to cover the costs linked to the June 12 massacre in Orlando. U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced the grant Tuesday in Orlando, where she met with survivors of the shooting attack that killed 49 people. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video How to Print Impossible Shapes with Metal

    3-D printing with metals is rapidly becoming more advanced. As printers become more affordable, the industry is partnering with universities to refine processes for manufacturing previously impossible things. A new 3-D printing lab aims to bring the new technology closer to everyday use. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Big Somali Community in Minnesota Observes Muslim Religious Feast

    Ramadan is widely observed in the north central US state of Minnesota, which a large Muslim community calls home. VOA Somali service reporter Mohmud Masadde files this report from Minneapolis, the state's biggest city.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora