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

African States Push to Keep Boko Haram Offline

Central African telecoms ministers working with Nigeria to block all videos posted by Boko Haram in effort to blunt Nigerian militant group's propaganda More

Falling Oil Prices, Internet-Savvy Youth Pose Challenge for Gulf Monarchies

Across the Gulf, younger generations are putting a strain on traditional politics More

Philippines Call Center Workers Face Challenges

Country has world’s largest business process outsourcing, or BPO, industry, employing some one-million workers 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.
US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Casei
X
Katherine Gypson
February 25, 2015 11:30 PM
The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Hurt Nascent Illinois Hydraulic Fracturing Industry

Falling oil prices are helping consumers purchase cheaper petroleum at the pump. But that’s made hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” less economically viable for the companies in the United States invested in the process. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports on one Midwestern town that was hoping to change its fortunes by cashing in on the next big U.S. oil boom.
Video

Video Fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan Fuels Mass Displacement

Heavy fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan state is causing hundreds of thousands to flee into uncertain conditions. Local aid organizations estimate as many as 400,000 civilians have been internally displaced since the conflict began more than three years ago, while another 250,000 have fled across the border to refugee camps in South Sudan. VOA's Adam Bailes reports.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.
Video

Video A Filmmaker Discovers Her Biracial Identity in "Little White Lie

Lacey Schwartz grew up in an upper middle-class Jewish family, in a town in upstate New York where almost everyone she knew was white. She assumed that she was, as well. Her recent documentary, Little White Lie, tells the story of how she uncovered the secret of her true racial background. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more on the film.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video US-Cuba Normalization Talks Resume Friday

Negotiations aimed at normalizing diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba resume Friday. On the table: lifting a half-century trade embargo and easing banking and travel restrictions. There's opposition in Congress, but some analysts say there may be sufficient political and economic incentives in both nations for a potential breakthrough this year. VOA's Mil Arcega reports.
Video

Video Pakistan's Deadline For SIM Registration Has Cellphone Users Scrambling

Pakistani cell phone users have until midnight Thursday to register their SIM cards, or their service will be cut off. While some privacy experts worry about government intrusion, many Pakistanis are just worried about keeping their phone lines open. VOA Deewa reporter Arshad Muhmand has more from Peshawar.
Video

Video Myanmar Warns Factory Workers to End Strikes

Outside Myanmar's main city Yangon, thousands of workers walked off their jobs earlier this month demanding a doubling of their wages, pay raises after a year and input from labor unions on industrial regulations. Since Friday, the standoff has grown more tense as police moved in to disrupt the sit-ins, resulting in clashes that injured people from both sides. VOA correspondent Steve Herman visited industrial zones which have become a focus of Myanmar's fledgling workers rights movement.
Video

Video Oscar Winners Do More Than Thank the Academy

The Academy Awards presentation is Hollywood’s night to reward the best movies from the previous year. It’s typically a lot of glitter, a lot of thank you’s, a lot of speeches. But many of this year’s speeches carried messages beyond the thank you's. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti takes a look.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More