News / Middle East

    Next Round of Iran Talks to Be Tough, Experts Say

    FILE - A general view of the Arak nuclear power plant, 190 km southwest of Tehran, Jan. 15, 2011.
    FILE - A general view of the Arak nuclear power plant, 190 km southwest of Tehran, Jan. 15, 2011.
    International negotiators have given themselves six months beginning January 20 to conclude a comprehensive agreement with Iran ensuring that Tehran’s nuclear program will be used exclusively for peaceful purposes.

    This new phase of talks comes after both sides agreed to an interim accord freezing Iran’s nuclear program for six months in exchange for some relief from international sanctions that have crippled Iran’s economy.

    Joel Rubin, an expert on Iran with the Ploughshares Fund, a global security foundation, said this new phase of discussions will be much more complex and difficult than the talks for an interim accord.

    Tough road ahead
     
    “From the Western perspective, there are going to be demands for a limited number of centrifuges and a limited amount of enrichment, most likely to a very, very modest level,” said Rubin.

    “There will be demands about the Arak plutonium facility to convert it in a manner that makes it clear that it can only be for peaceful purposes. There will be discussions about the possible military dimensions of Iran’s nuclear program. These will be tough. And from the other side, Iran is going to ask for an end to the international sanctions placed on it,” said Rubin.

    The interim agreement allows the International Atomic Energy Agency unprecedented access to key Iranian nuclear sites.

    Rubin says that is a key element as negotiators work out a comprehensive pact.

    “The idea that one can have a deal with Iran and just trust it is not one that has much currency nor gives much confidence. So the idea is that these inspectors will be verifying all the parts of the agreement. And they will have daily access to facilities in Iran," said Rubin.

    Confidence essential

    Greg Thielmann of the Arms Control Association said the issue of confidence is essential.

    “There is deep mistrust on the part of both sides about the goodwill and the intentions of the other side to actually carry out an agreement. Now we have a specific commitment with a whole lot of milestones over the next six months and it will be very important to know in virtually real time whether or not these commitments are being fulfilled," said Thielmann. “Then, of course, any kind of ultimate agreement is going to require that the international community has high confidence in whatever commitments the Iranians make about whatever residual nuclear energy program they have.”

    Thielmann believes that despite the mistrust, both sides want the negotiations to succeed.

    As Western and Iranian negotiators continue their talks, some U.S. senators are considering harsher sanctions on Iran. The U.S. House of Representatives passed legislation last July imposing stricter measures targeting - among others - the financial and oil sectors.

    The Senate is also expected to discuss the issue of tougher sanctions.

    President Barack Obama has threatened to veto any such legislation. Other U.S. officials say tougher sanctions on Iran would torpedo the talks.

    Andre de Nesnera

    Andre de Nesnera is senior analyst at the Voice of America, where he has reported on international affairs for more than three decades. Now serving in Washington D.C., he was previously senior European correspondent based in London, established VOA’s Geneva bureau in 1984 and in 1989 was the first VOA correspondent permanently accredited in the Soviet Union.

    You May Like

    Video For Many US Veterans, the Vietnam War Continues

    More than 40 years after it ended, war in Vietnam and America’s role in it continue to provoke bitter debate, especially among those who fought in it

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    100 immigrants graduated Friday as US citizens in New York, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in cities across country

    Family's Fight Pays Off With Arlington Cemetery Burial Rights for WASPs

    Policy that allowed the Women Airforce Service Pilots veterans to receive burial rites at Arlington had been revoked in 2015

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnami
    X
    Elizabeth Lee
    May 22, 2016 6:04 AM
    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnam

    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video First-generation, Afghan-American Student Sets Sights on Basketball Glory

    Their parents are immigrants to the United States. They are kids who live between two worlds -- their parents' homeland and the U.S. For many of them, they feel most "American" at school. It can be tricky balancing both worlds. In this report, produced by Beth Mendelson, Arash Arabasadi tells us about one Afghan-American student who seems to be coping -- one shot at a time.
    Video

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    While universities across the United States honor their newest graduates this Friday, many immigrants in downtown Manhattan are celebrating, too. One hundred of them, representing 31 countries across four continents, graduated as U.S. citizens, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in New York and cities around the country.
    Video

    Video Vietnam Sees Strong Economic Growth Despite Incomplete Reforms

    Vietnam has transformed its communist economy to become one of the world's fastest-growing nations. While the reforms are incomplete, multinational corporations see a profitable future in Vietnam and have made major investments -- as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
    Video

    Video Qatar Denies World Cup Corruption

    The head of Qatar’s organizing committee for the 2022 World Cup insists his country's bid to host the soccer tournament was completely clean, despite the corruption scandals that have rocked the sport’s governing body, FIFA. Hassan Al-Thawadi also said new laws would offer protection to migrants working on World Cup construction projects. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Infrastructure Funding Puts Cambodia on Front Line of International Politics

    When leaders of the world’s seven most developed economies meet in Japan next week, demands for infrastructure investment world wide will be high on the agenda. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push for “quality infrastructure investment” throughout Asia has been widely viewed as a counter to the rise of Chinese investment flooding into region.
    Video

    Video Democrats Fear Party Unity a Casualty in Clinton-Sanders Battle

    Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton claimed a narrow victory in Tuesday's Kentucky primary even as rival Bernie Sanders won in Oregon. Tensions between the two campaigns are rising, prompting fears that the party will have a difficult time unifying to face the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Portrait of a Transgender Marriage: Husband and Wife Navigate New Roles

    As controversy continues in North Carolina over the use of public bathrooms by transgender individuals, personal struggles with gender identity that were once secret are now coming to light. VOA’s Tina Trinh explored the ramifications for one couple as part of trans.formation, a series of stories on transgender issues.
    Video

    Video Amerikan Hero Flips Stereotype of Middle Eastern Character

    An Iranian American comedian is hoping to connect with American audiences through a film that inverts some of Hollywood's stereotypes about Middle Eastern characters. Sama Dizayee reports.
    Video

    Video Budding Young Inventors Tackle City's Problems with 3-D Printing

    Every city has problems, and local officials and politicians are often frustrated by their inability to solve them. But surprising solutions can come from unexpected places. Students in Baltimore. Maryland, took up the challenge to solve problems they identified in their city, and came up with projects and products to make a difference. VOA's June Soh has more on a digital fabrication competition primarily focused on 3-D design and printing. Carol Pearson narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora