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.

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    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.

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