News / Middle East

    Obama: Iran Nuclear Deal 'Possible'

    FILE - President Barack Obama speaks during a news conference in the Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House in Washington, Dec. 19, 2014.
    FILE - President Barack Obama speaks during a news conference in the Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House in Washington, Dec. 19, 2014.
    VOA News

    U.S. President Barack Obama says a nuclear agreement with Iran is "possible" and would be a necessary first step in any greater diplomatic engagement between the two countries.

    In an interview with National Public Radio (NPR), Obama said he would be hopeful about working to improved relations under a scenario with an Iran that has a verified peaceful nuclear program, whose economy grows unhampered by sanctions and is "reintegrated into the international community."

    NPR posted a transcript of the president's interview on its website early Monday.

    Obama said Iran has a chance to "break through" isolation and resolve the nuclear issue, and that Iranian officials should seize the opportunity.

    When asked if the United States would open an embassy in Tehran, following a move toward closer relations with Cuba this month, the president said he would "never say never." But he cautioned that "these things have to go in steps."

    The U.S. severed diplomatic relations with Iran in April 1980, several months after Iranian activists seized the U.S. Embassy in Tehran and took its staff hostage.

    More recently, the United States has been working for years along with Britain, China, France, Russia and Germany to ensure that Iran is using its nuclear facilities for peaceful, civilian purposes rather than developing weapons. Iran has long denied its program has military aims, saying it only wants to use nuclear material for things like generating power and medical research.

    The two sides agreed to an interim deal in November 2013, but failed to reach a comprehensive deal by their self-imposed deadline last month. They have extended the talks into next year with a new deadline at the end of June.

    Last week, Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif expressed confidence the two sides will meet their goal, but cautioned again that the so-called P5+1 group should not make unrealistic demands in curbing Iran's nuclear activity.

    You May Like

    Video Democrats Clinton, Kaine Offer 'Very Different Vision' Than Trump

    In a jab at Trump, Clinton says her team wants to 'build bridges, not walls'; Obama Hails Kaine's record; Trump calls Kaine a 'job-killer'

    Turkey Wants Pakistan to Close Down institutions, Businesses Linked to Gulen

    Thousands of Pakistani students are enrolled in Gulen's commercial network of around two dozen institutions operating in Pakistan for over two decades

    AU Passport A Work in Progress

    Who will get the passport and what the benefits are still need to be worked out

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    by: PermReader
    December 30, 2014 11:52 AM
    What nuclear agreement is possible with the country recently declared it`s wish to make the Bomb?
    In Response

    by: Permread from: Kauai
    December 31, 2014 10:55 PM
    When did they declare that??

    by: Lawrence Bush from: Houston, USA
    December 30, 2014 8:56 AM
    What our prez does augustly say, as per that we've got to act to the Iranian n-row is successfully over. "That's the peaceful n-program" that Iranians do proclaim. P5 plus Germany have got to see in the international verifiable conformity as the Iranians are right as per their statement.........We Big Five and our friendly state Germany have nothing else to give to Iran; instead, the Iranian side has got the " give and take" method- first, techonologically proving the very factor they do not have any nocence in their n-program; and, in return, they do have reprives in terms of already imposed economic sanctions. The fate of the January talks next year to decide if our Congress is going to impose further sanctions or not.

    by: MKhattib from: USA
    December 30, 2014 12:05 AM
    Unless we talk openly and honestly about the shortcomings of the Iranian regime and its brutal viewpoints on human rights and governance in the context of what any kind of nuclear deal would look like, we're all doomed to be severely disappointed. Iran and its cadre of ruling clerics have time and again demonstrated exactly what they stand for. Their support of terror groups, causing of bitter sectarian wars in Syria and Iraq and headlong plunge into nuclear development alongside brutal repression in all phases of Iranian life clearly show you can't trust these guys to abide by any agreement that diminishes their hold on power
    In Response

    by: Mhassan from: Pakistan
    December 30, 2014 3:07 PM
    Brutal viewpoints and brutal repression!!!! what a joke. You don't know, what your country done in Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq, Guantanamo Bay Detention Camp.

    by: Marcus Aurelius II from: NJ USA
    December 29, 2014 8:08 PM
    It is most fortunate that the Congress will be controlled by the Republican party. I'm sure they will not allow any deal that does not give our experts 100% confidence that Iran cannot develop nuclear weapons. Not only would the US be a target for Iran's nuclear weapons, the possibility that Iran would be nearly capable of creating one would trigger a major war in the Mideast the like of which the world has never seen. If Israel feels its existence is threatened and has nuclear weapons as we think they do, igniting Iran's oil fields with them will start a blaze that will burn for 10,000 years with disastrous consequences for the whole world. Even if the US sits by hoping we won't be attacked, Israel won't.

    by: kafantaris from: Warren, Ohio
    December 29, 2014 3:23 PM
    In today’s world, strength is measure in economic terms -- with Russia being the prime example. Despite it being the undisputed superpower in military terms -- including nuclear weapons and aerospace -- Russia was just blindsided by the oil market and lack of diversity in its goods and services.
    This should be a sobering lesson to Iran as it would have been no better off now economically if it had the military strength of Russia.
    Then why does Israel have nuclear weapons?
    So what. Nuclear weapons do no more economic good to Israel than they do to India, Pakistan, North Korea, China, England, France or the United States. Today’s interdependent, interconnected and smarter world has simply made these weapons relics of the past -- with no conceivable circumstances for their use.
    But it’s our right to have nuclear weapons.
    It might be, as it is your right to learn about nuclear physics. But if it makes your neighbors apprehensive, why bother -- especially when the effort is such huge drain on Iran’s larger effort of becoming the economic powerhouse of the Middle East?
    In Response

    by: mazdak from: u.s.a
    December 30, 2014 11:54 PM
    no regime change once Iran has the bomb. That (regime change) has been american administration goal since 1978 revolution up to president Obama came to office. May force be with him to do more good for America and the world.
    In Response

    by: Marcus Aurelius II from: NJ USA
    December 29, 2014 8:12 PM
    Russia was never a military or economic superpower. Yes it can blow up the world and itself with it. It cannot do anything else. In a non nuclear confrontation with the US, it would be wiped away in nothing flat.

    Why should Israel be the only one in the Mideast with nuclear weapons? Because it's the only one whose existence is threatened without them.

    Can the status quo go on indefinitely? It has for a long time so I don't see why not?

    December 29, 2014 10:44 AM
    iran should not be given opportunity to undermine collective security ; peace loving countries like Israel.
    In Response

    by: George from: USA
    January 01, 2015 4:22 PM
    You are either a comedian or you are the biggest ignoramus on a news site. Calling Israel "peace loving" is the most hilarious statement I have read in years.
    In Response

    by: Wahad from: Jordan
    December 29, 2014 11:36 AM
    US/Israel,Canada,Germany should be eliminated. Only then Islam can thrive.

    by: steve winter from: west bath usa
    December 29, 2014 9:21 AM
    What happened to the deadline? That should tell you no real acceptable deal is possible. It will be a different deal after Iran has the bomb. Think there is terror now? ... wait until then.

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movementi
    July 22, 2016 11:49 AM
    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.

    Video Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Border

    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.

    Video New HIV Tests Emphasize Rapid Results

    As the global fight against AIDS intensifies, activists have placed increasing importance on getting people to know their HIV status. Some companies are developing new HIV testing methods designed to be quick, easy and accurate. Thuso Khumalo looks at the latest methods, presented at the International AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa.

    Video African Youth with HIV Urge More Support

    HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is the top killer of teens in sub-Saharan Africa. But many youths say their experience with the virus is unique and needs to be addressed differently than the adult epidemic. VOA South African Correspondent Anita Powell reports.

    Video Poor Residents in Cleveland Not Feeling High Hopes of Republican Convention

    With the Republican Party's National Convention underway in Cleveland, Ohio, delegates and visitors are gathered in the host city's downtown - waiting to hear from the party's presidential candidate, Donald Trump. But a few kilometers from the convention's venue, Cleveland's poorest residents are not convinced Trump or his policies will make a difference in their lives. VOA's Ramon Taylor spoke with some of these residents as well as some of the Republican delegates and filed this report.

    Video Pop-Up Art Comes to Your Living Room, Backyard and Elsewhere

    Around the world, independent artists and musicians wrestle with a common problem: where to exhibit or perform? Traditional spaces such as museums and galleries are reserved for bigger names, and renting a space is not feasible for many. Enter ArtsUp, which connects artists with venue owners. Whether it’s a living room, restaurant, office or even a boat, pop-up events are bringing music and art to unexpected places. Tina Trinh has more.

    Video With Yosemite as Backdrop, Obama Praises National Parks

    Last month, President Barack Obama and his family visited some of the most beautiful national parks in the U.S. Using the majestic backdrop of a towering waterfall in California's Yosemite National Park, Obama praised the national park system which celebrates its 100th anniversary this year. He talked about the importance of America’s “national treasures” and the need to protect them from climate change and other threats. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.

    Video Counter-Islamic State Coalition Plots Next Steps

    As momentum shifts against Islamic State in Iraq, discussions are taking place about the next steps for driving the terrorist group from its final strongholds. Secretary of State John Kerry is hosting a counter-IS meeting at the State Department, a day after defense ministers from more than 30 countries reviewed and agreed upon a course of action. VOA Pentagon correspondent Carla Babb reports.

    Video Russia's Participation at Brazil Olympic Games Still In Question

    The International Olympic Committee has delayed a decision on whether to ban all Russian teams from competing in next month's Olympic Games in Brazil over allegations of an elaborate doping scheme. The World Anti-Doping Agency recently released an independent report alleging widespread doping by Russian athletes at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. So far, only Russian track and field athletes have been barred from the Summer Games in Brazil. VOA's Zlatica Hoke has more.

    Video Scotland’s Booming Whisky Industry Fears Brexit Hangover

    After Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Scotland’s government wants to break away from the United Kingdom – fearing the nation’s exports are at risk. Among the biggest of these is whisky. Henry Ridgwell reports on a time of turmoil for those involved in the ancient art of distilling Scotland’s most famous product.

    Video Millennials Could Determine Who Wins Race to White House

    With only four months to go until Americans elect a new president, one group of voters is getting a lot more attention these days: those ages 18 to 35, a generation known as millennials. It’s a demographic that some analysts say could have the power to decide the 2016 election. But a lot depends on whether they actually turn out to vote. VOA’s Alexa Lamanna reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora