World News

Kerry Arrives in Geneva for Iran Nuclear Talks

The U.S. secretary of state has arrived in Switzerland where he is headed into a tough round of negotiations with other world powers trying to reach a deal with Iran about its controversial nuclear program.

John Kerry arrived in Geneva Saturday where he will be joined by the other top foreign diplomats of the group known as the P5+1 amid reports that a landmark deal with Tehran may be near. The top diplomats from Britain, China, France, Russia and Germany are either on their way or already in Geneva for the intense discussions.

Chinese officials said Saturday talks have reached a "final phase."

European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton has been leading the negotiations with the Iranians. The main sticking points have been to what extent Iran will be allowed to enrich uranium and how much sanctions would be eased.

Iran insists it keeps the right to enrich uranium and denies it wants to build a nuclear weapon. It has offered to suspend parts of its nuclear program and agreed to tighter inspections if the West relaxes sanctions that have devastated its economy.



Under discussion is a first-phase agreement meant to build trust while the two sides work out a more comprehensive deal that would ease Western concerns about Iran's ability to build nuclear weapons.

Iran's news agency IRNA on Friday called the talks "complicated and tough."

So far, the U.S. has said it is prepared to offer what it calls limited and reversible sanctions relief, including unfreezing billions of dollars in Iranian funds overseas. Iran has said it would also like restrictions eased on its oil exports and banking sector.

Former White House official and arms control specialist Gary Samore told VOA's Persian News Network Friday that resolving the nuclear issue is just one part of improving the relationship between the U.S. and Iran. He said the two nations continue to have disagreements on other issues, including Syria and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

U.S. lawmakers are threatening to increase sanctions if a deal is not reached. U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Thursday he is committed to moving forward in December with a bill to impose new measures on Iran if negotiations are not successful.

President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Kerry have been asking key congressional leaders to hold off on any new sanctions against Tehran while the Geneva talks continue.

This is the third round of negotiations between Iran and the P5+1 group.

The latest talks began Wednesday, building on a prior round of negotiations that ended two weeks ago. Analysts say those talks failed in large part because of objections by France.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs