News / Middle East

Ministers Press Iran on Nuclear Program

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry talks to the media on his way to a meeting at a hotel in Vienna, July 13, 2014.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry talks to the media on his way to a meeting at a hotel in Vienna, July 13, 2014.
Al Pessin

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and three of his European counterparts have joined talks in Vienna to press Iran for more concessions on its nuclear program, as next Sunday’s deadline looms.

Secretary Kerry flew into Vienna overnight from Afghanistan to join the discussions and meet with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif.  Kerry arrived shortly after a senior U.S. official involved in the talks told reporters some of Iran’s positions are “inadequate and unworkable.”
 
Officials say an agreement on long-term limits on Iran’s nuclear program and an end to international economic sanctions is 70 percent finished, but that significant gaps remain on key issues.  Those are believed to include how much capacity Iran will retain to enrich uranium, a potential fuel for nuclear bombs, and how long the restrictions will last.  
 
Arriving for the talks Sunday morning, Secretary Kerry described the situation this way.
 
“Obviously we have some very significant gaps still.  So we need to see if we can make some progress and I really look forward to a very substantive and important set of meetings and dialogues.  This is a very important subject.  It is vital to make certain that Iran is not going to develop a nuclear weapon, that their program is peaceful,” he said.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif called for good faith on both sides in the negotiations, saying that "trust is a two-way street."
 
The U.N. Security Council deputized its five permanent members - the United States, France, Britain, Russia and China - plus Germany to negotiate with Iran on measures to guarantee that its nuclear program is purely peaceful, as Iran says it is.
 
But Iran has violated past agreements on the nuclear program, ignored resolutions from the Security Council and the International Atomic Energy Agency, and pursued secret military nuclear research.  
 
So the international community wants strict, verifiable controls to ensure that if Iran does decide to build a nuclear bomb, the project could not be kept secret and would take a year or more.  That would provide time for diplomatic or, potentially, military moves to stop it.
 
Iran expert Matthew Moran of London’s King’s College says the experience of past failed agreements with Iran is an important factor in these talks.
 
“The international community has learned a lot from its past experience of negotiating with Iran.  So, there is pressure to reach agreement, but I don’t think that an agreement will be rushed.  We’re talking about a lasting solution to one of the key problems on the international security agenda.  And that’s not something that can be taken lightly,” said Moran.

These talks follow a preliminary agreement reached in December that resulted in some rollbacks of Iran’s nuclear program in return for limited relief from economic sanctions.  The two sides agreed to negotiate a comprehensive agreement within six months, giving themselves a July 20th deadline.  They also provided the option of extending the preliminary accord for a further six months to allow more time to settle disagreements.
 
But an extension also creates problems.  Officials are concerned that momentum toward an agreement could be lost, that international sanctions could weaken and that U.S. congressional elections in November could make it harder to get sanctions relief approved.  In addition, Iran has indicated that it wants more easing of sanctions as part of any extension, something U.S. officials say they are not willing to provide.
 
Last year, it took two interventions by foreign ministers to finalize the preliminary agreement.  This is their first visit to these talks, and the Russian and Chinese ministers were not able to get here.  So, the ministers could be back again next weekend for a final push.

You May Like

Photogallery Oxfam: Ebola Could Be 'Disaster of Our Generation'

Meanwhile, Fidel Castro, the former leader of Cuba, says the Caribbean island nation will 'gladly cooperate' with the US in the fight against Ebola in West Africa More

Multimedia Kobani Fighting Sends 400,000 Refugees to Turkey

Refugees receive help from Turkish authorities and individuals, but say much more is needed More

India’s Ruling Nationalist Party Makes Gains in Regional Elections

Bharatiya Janata Party’s huge margin over its rivals puts it on course to form governments in the northern Haryana and western Maharashtra states More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Nguyễn Văn Ry from: Giao Thủy , Việt nam
July 13, 2014 9:27 AM
I think Iran should consider practically thier policy on the nuclear programe. It may not the best policy to protect themselves


by: Lawrence Bush from: Houston, Texas
July 13, 2014 8:16 AM
Really, the very outcome of the Iranian n-talk remains bleak despite sanctions and the talks so far. World does not accept the Iranian n - program as a civiliian one; while, on the other, the Iranian govt. says that is a civil nuclear program, not meant for weapons production. The gap of understanding remains here to be abridged......... and, that yet to materialise between Iran and the world powers. Before the Iranians had started running their own enrichment program, during the Bush administration, president Putin was counseled - all the n - fuel rods should reach Iran from Moscow in number count for the Iranian n - power plants, after exustions, all that should be returned to Moscow. During the presidentship of Mohammed Ahmedinejad, two rounds of talks were held in Moscow. But later, the talks were stopped. Then , the PRC, Russia and ours had joined France, Germany and the UK.
While the Vienna talks starts now - a foreign ministerial summit along with Iran for breaking over a decade of deadlock, the very keenness of the foreign ministers of Big Five and Germany remains in the Iranian centrifuges............it is admittable ..... it is a scientific way to keeping the Iranian n - enrichment process below the threshold of making weapons grade fissile materials. At same time, caution should be - what sort of isotops that the Iranians do make which can be converted into fissile grade once again? Most certainly, the Vienna based IAEA would be the watchdog of the Iranian n - programe....... all the nuclear facilities.
Besides moving in the centrifuge strategy, the top powers could have taken Iran on the way of signing the specific n - non- proliferation treaties; NPT, CTBT and the FMCT. It is admittable while the Big Powers do wriggle still on the centrifuge mechanism, the latter process of signing three treaties with the Iranian govt. would be more difficult process. But caution is there, amongst the currently existing number of n-states (having n- arsenals), if Iran would add itself to this band, one more n-equation, first of its kind, would be added onto the existing ones in this planet; viz, Iran vs Israel. .......... First, the Iranians should officially move in the non- proliferation regime in a technologically verifiable manner, then only, all the sanctions should be lifted which have been stringently biting their economy for last some years. No concessions on the nuclear non- proliferation in perview of peace in the Middle East and entire world.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fighti
X
Zana Omer
October 18, 2014 6:37 PM
The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fight

The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video South Korea Confronts Violence Within Military Ranks

Every able-bodied South Korean male between 18 and 35 must serve for 21 to 36 months in the country’s armed forces, depending upon the specific branch. For many, service is a rite of passage to manhood. But there are growing concerns that bullying and violence come along with the tradition. Reporter Jason Strother has more from Seoul.
Video

Video Comanche People Maintain Pride in Their Heritage

The Comanche (Indian nation) once were called the “Lords of the Plains,” with an empire that included half the land area of current day Texas, large parts of Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas and Colorado.The fierceness and battle prowess of these warriors on horseback delayed the settlement of most of West Texas for four decades. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Lawton, Oklahoma, that while their warrior days are over, the 15,000 members of the Comanche Nation remain a proud people.
Video

Video Turkey Campus Attacks Raise Islamic Radicalization Fears

Concerns are growing in Turkey of Islamic radicalization at some universities, after clashes between supporters of the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) or ISIS, and those opposed to the extremists. Pro-jihadist literature is on sale openly on the streets of Istanbul. Critics accuse the government of turning a blind eye to radicalism at home, while Kurds accuse the president of supporting IS - a charge strongly denied. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Syrian Defector Leaks Shocking Photos of Torture Victims

Shocking photographs purporting to show Syrian torture victims are on display at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington. The museum says the graphic images are among thousands of photographs recently smuggled out of Syria by a military policeman-turned-defector. As VOA reporter Julie Taboh reports, the museum says the photos provide further evidence of atrocities committed by the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad against its own people.
Video

Video Drought-Stricken California Considers Upgrading Water System

A three-year drought in California is causing a water shortage that is being felt on farms and cities throughout the state. As VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports, water experts, consumers and farmers say California needs to make changes to cope with an uncertain future.
Video

Video TechShop Puts High-tech Dreams Within Reach

Square, a business app and card reader, makes it possible to do credit card transactions through cell phones. But what made Square possible? VOA’s Adrianna Zhang and Enming Liu have the answer.
Video

Video Church for Atheists Goes Global

Atheists, by definition, do not believe in God. So they should have no need of a church. But two years ago, a pair of British stand-up comedians decided to create one. Sanderson Jones and Pippa Evans told the BBC they envisioned “something like church but without God". Their “Sunday Assembly” movement has grown from a single congregation in London to dozens of churches around the world. Reporter Mike Osborne visited with the members of a Sunday Assembly that now meets regularly in Nashville.
Video

Video Robot Locates Unexploded Underwater Mines

Many educators believe that hands-on experience is the best way to learn. Proving that the method works is a project developed by a group of students at the Stevens Institute of Technology, in Hoboken, New Jersey. They rose up to a challenge posted by the U.S. Department of Defense and successfully designed and built an underwater robot for locating submerged unexploded ordnance. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Liberia's JFK Hospital Reopens After Temporary Ebola Exposure

JFK Hospital is Liberia’s largest and one of its oldest medical facilities. The hospital had to close temporarily following the deaths of two leading doctors from Ebola. It is now getting back on its feet, with the maternity ward being the first section to reopen. Benno Muchler has more for VOA News from Monrovia.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests Expose Generation Gap

Most of the tens of thousands of protesters in Hong Kong are students seeking democracy. Idealistic youths say while the older generation worries about the present, they are fighting for the territory's future. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Hong Kong.
Video

Video Liberians Living in US Struggle From Afar as Ebola Ravages Homeland

More than 8,000 Liberians live in New York City, more than in any other city outside of Liberia itself. As VOA’s Bernard Shusman reports, with the Ebola virus ravaging their homeland, there is no peace of mind for these New Yorkers.
Video

Video Kurds See War-Ravaged Kobani As Political, Emotional Heartland

Intense fighting is continuing between Islamic State militants -- also known as ISIS or ISIL -- and Kurdish forces around the Syrian town of Kobani, on the Turkish border. The U.S. said it carried out at least nine airstrikes against Islamic State positions Friday. Meanwhile the U.N. has warned that hundreds of civilians would be massacred if the town falls to the militants. Henry Ridgwell looks at the strategic significance of the city.

All About America

AppleAndroid