News

    Key Players in Iran Nuclear Talks Make Varying Demands

    Military complex at Parchin, Iran (file photo).
    Military complex at Parchin, Iran (file photo).

    Here are the key players and their stances going into Saturday's talks between Iran and world powers over Iran's controversial nuclear program:

    Western nations fear Iran is trying to develop a nuclear weapon, which requires enriching uranium to more than 90 percent.

    IRAN

    Tehran has sent mixed signals, hinting toward a compromise while warning against pressure.  Iran's chief nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili says Tehran will present new initiatives at the talks, but warned that efforts by Western nations to exert pressure would "backfire."

    Fereidoon Abbasi, head of the Iranian Atomic Energy Organization, has said that enriching uranium above the 20 percent level needed for the Tehran research reactor is not a long-term goal for Iran. He said enrichment could eventually be dropped to the 3.5 percent level needed for nuclear power generation.

    However, Hossein Sheikholeslami, a former Iranian ambassador to Syria, has said Iranians regard uranium enrichment as "our inalienable right” and warned not to expect any enrichment freezes.

    RUSSIA AND CHINA

    Russia and China see international sanctions as ineffective and a move that only makes Iran "more stubborn," as Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabov said Tuesday.

    China's Foreign Ministry said in a statement Tuesday that it hopes all parties will "show flexibility and sincerity in the dialogue, to open a constructive and sustained dialogue process."

    UNITED STATES

    The U.S. is hoping for a diplomatic solution while showing signs of slowly running out of patience.

    U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Wednesday "there is still time for diplomacy" to resolve the nuclear dispute, adding that the talks provide an opportunity for Iran to "address seriously" the international community’s concerns.

    Other U.S. officials have said the U.S. will demand that Iran halt higher-grade uranium enrichment and immediately close its Fordo underground nuclear facility.

    President Barack Obama has said "all options are on the table" to keep Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon, including the "military component."

    BRITAIN, FRANCE and GERMANY

    France is pushing for a total halt to Iran's nuclear program, not just Iran's higher-grade uranium enrichment.  

    Along with the U.S., the European Union is demanding that Iran dismantle its underground nuclear facility.  A spokesman for EU foreign policy chef Catherine Ashton said this week that she hopes the talks in Turkey "produce a conducive environment for concrete progress."  

    The EU has joined the U.S. in imposing oil and financial sanctions on Iran beyond the sanctions levied by the U.N. Security Council.

    The White House says French President Nicolas Sarkozy and President Obama agreed Thursday to continue increasing pressure on Iran through sanctions and other measures if Tehran remains unresponsive.  

    ISRAEL

    While not a party to the talks, Israeli leaders say a nuclear-armed Iran would be a threat to Israel's existence and they have threatened military action to stop Tehran from getting close to developing a nuclear weapon.


    Carla Babb

    Carla is VOA's Pentagon correspondent covering defense and international security issues. Her datelines include Ukraine, Turkey, Pakistan, Korea, Japan and Egypt.

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Gman
    April 12, 2012 2:20 PM
    This would not be even a problem if they Iran did not have a culture of lying to outsiders no one can trust them. Any group that gets early offended should never ever have this kind of technology.

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensionsi
    X
    April 29, 2016 12:28 AM
    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensions

    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Master Mohammad Ayub runs a makeshift school in a public park in Islamabad. Thousands of poor children have benefited from his services over the years, but, as VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem reports, roughly 25 million school-age youths don't get an education in Pakistan.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Bangladesh Targeted Killings Spark Wave of Fear

    People in Bangladesh’s capital are expressing deep concern over the brutal attacks that have killed secular blogger, and most recently a gay rights activist and an employee of the U.S. embassy. Xulhaz Mannan, an embassy protocol officer and the editor of the country’s only gay and transgender magazine Roopban; and his friend Mehboob Rabbi Tanoy, a gay rights activist, were hacked to death by five attackers in Mannan’s Dhaka home earlier this month.
    Video

    Video Documentary Tells Tale of Chernobyl Returnees

    Ukraine this week is marking the 30th anniversary of the world's worst nuclear accident, at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Soviet officials at first said little about the accident, but later evacuated a 2,600-square-kilometer "exclusion zone." Some people, though, came back. American directors Holly Morris and Anne Bogart created a documentary about this faithful and brave community. VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko reports from New York on "The Babushkas of Chernobyl." Carol Pearson narrates.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.
    Video

    Video  Return to the Wild

    There’s a growing trend in the United States to let old or underused golf courses revert back to nature. But as Erika Celeste reports from one parcel in Grafton, Ohio, converting 39 hectares of land back to green space is a lot more complicated than just not mowing the fairway.
    Video

    Video West Urges Unity in Libya as Migrant Numbers Soar

    The Italian government says a NATO-led mission aimed at stemming the flow of migrants from Libya to Europe could be up and running by July. There are concerns that the number of migrants could soar as the route through Greece and the Balkans remains blocked. Western powers say the political chaos in Libya is being exploited by people smugglers — and they are pressuring rival groups to come together under the new unity government. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Russia’s TV Rain Swims Against Tide in Sea of Kremlin Propaganda

    Russia’s media freedoms have been gradually eroded under President Vladimir Putin as his government has increased state ownership, influence, and restrictions on critical reporting. Television, where most Russians get their news, has been the main target and is now almost completely state controlled. But in the Russian capital, TV Rain stands out as an island in a sea of Kremlin propaganda.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora