News / Middle East

US Open to Iran Nuclear Talks

VOA News
President Barack Obama says the United States is open to holding new talks with Iran about its controversial nuclear program.

But in an interview broadcast late Monday, Obama said Iran must recognize that international sanctions will remain until the country dispels concerns that it is developing a nuclear weapon.  Iran insists its nuclear program is peaceful.

Obama also said the election of moderate cleric Hassan Rowhani to be Iran's next president shows the Iranian people "want to move in a different direction" and engage the international community in a more positive way.

Earlier Monday, Obama said he and Russian President Vladimir Putin are cautiously optimistic that Rowhani will push for progress in nuclear talks.

Rowhani told a news conference Monday that Iran wants to prove its nuclear work fully meets international standards.

He said Iran's nuclear program is totally transparent, and that Tehran is ready to show more transparency.

"We will look at taking two specifics to allow us to remove and resolve the issue of sanctions [against Iran].  The first is to take the path towards increased transparency [over Iran's nuclear program].  Of course, our nuclear programs are totally transparent in nature.  But we are ready to show more transparency and to show the world that Iran's nuclear work complies fully with the international framework," he said.  "Secondly, we will promote the growth of mutual trust between Iran and other nations.  Wherever this mutual trust is under threat, we will make efforts to strengthen this mutual trust.  In my view, the way to end the sanctions regime [against Iran] is through mutual trust and greater transparency within the framework of international rules and regulations.''

The U.S. and its Western allies suspect Iran of trying to build nuclear weapons, and have helped to implement several rounds of sanctions against Iran that have battered the country's economy.

Rowhani said he will "follow the path of moderation and justice, not extremism.''  He also promised to revive what he called constructive interaction with the rest of the world, and to help fix Iran's faltering economy.

"There is an opportunity now, thanks to the active participation and support of the [Iranian] people: their participation [in the election] and their votes has created an opportunity. I hope that all countries take advantage of this opportunity, because this opportunity is beneficial from the point of view of mutual national interests," he added. "If one looks at the world today, we see tensions and stresses in the economic and political arenas across the world as well as in the [Middle East] region. Therefore, relations with the Islamic Republic of Iran and its new government will not only be beneficial for the Iranian nation, but also for the countries in the region and the wider world.''

When asked about relations with the United States, Rowhani said the issue is complicated, calling it "an old wound that needs to be healed."

You May Like

Video Americans, Tourists, Reflect on Meaning of Thanksgiving

VOA garnered opinions from several people soon after November 13 Paris attacks, which colored many of their thoughts

Video Thais Send Security Concerns Down the River

In northern Thailand, the annual tradition of constructing floating baskets to carry away the year’s bad spirits highlights the Loy Krathong festival

Video Tree Houses - A Branch of American Dream

Workshops aimed at teaching people how to build tree houses have become widely popular in America in recent years

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
by: Godwin from: Nigeria
June 18, 2013 11:31 AM
Can we really trust this man? Things we must not lose sight of in the election of Hassan Rouhani are, foremost that he is a crony and election of the Islamist supreme leadership of Iran. By this he’s not going to do anything counter to the leadership goals of the supreme leader. Next, Iran’s nuclear program has gone far enough, the rest can now go underground to achieve the regime’s agenda. Following to this is that Rouhani must have been chosen to win the “elections” by the approximation of the leaders to show some compromise to the West and douse the heat so far hurting the country’s economy without coming out to make the concession.

Iran has no intention of stopping the nuclear program, nor does it intend to improve relations with Israel, even though Rouhani may not be all over the place denying the holocaust or peddling the desire to wipe Israel out of world map. The bottom-line remains: regional hegemonic dominance, fostering of terrorism and desire to eliminate foes. Iran will continue to support Hezbollah, Hamas and sponsor terrorists all over the world. The supreme leader simply wants some muted hardliner who can douse the West and help reopen Iran’s sale of oil to the open market. The Ayatolah wants a change of tactics – someone with a smiling face while hardened beneath to make the West relax its sanctions on Iran so that it can continue to carry out the nuclear program now gone underground. This is absolutely a new face of terrorism.
In Response

by: FreedomComesFirst from: Alabama
June 19, 2013 3:51 AM
Iranians deserve better than to be subjected to a never-ending stream of sanctions because people like you believe in conspiracy theories about an Iranian plan to take over the world. "Iran will continue to support Hezbollah, Hamas and sponsor terrorists all over the world." Most of the Islamic world supports Hamas. Iran recently stopped funding Hamas due to the Syrian civil war. If this is your criteria for impoverishing 70 million Iranians, it's a weak one.

Hezbollah is extremist militant organization that Iran supports, but it is not a threat to the West, and should not be the basis of this much hostility between the U.S. and Iran. Many countries over the decades have supported hardline militants when it suited them. A zero-tolerance policy to that type of thing would mean the West could not have relations or trade with people in half the countries of the world. Both the West and Iran are harmed by the extremist course of action you advocate toward Iran. Normalization of ties on the other hand would benefit both sides by creating more trade links and contacts between the cultures. Shutting Iranians off from the world is immoral.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Belgium-Germany Border Remains Porous, Even As Manhunt For Paris Attacker Continuesi
Ayesha Tanzeem
November 25, 2015 10:46 PM
One of the suspected gunmen in the Nov. 13 Paris attacks, Salah Abdeslam, evaded law enforcement, made his way to Belgium, and is now believed to have fled to Germany. VOA correspondent Ayesha Tanzeem makes the journey across the border from Belgium into Germany to see how porous the borders really are.

Video Belgium-Germany Border Remains Porous, Even As Manhunt For Paris Attacker Continues

One of the suspected gunmen in the Nov. 13 Paris attacks, Salah Abdeslam, evaded law enforcement, made his way to Belgium, and is now believed to have fled to Germany. VOA correspondent Ayesha Tanzeem makes the journey across the border from Belgium into Germany to see how porous the borders really are.

Video Islamic State Unfazed by Losses in Iraq, Syria

Progress in the U.S.-led effort to beat Islamic State on its home turf in Iraq and Syria has led some to speculate the terror group may be growing desperate. But counterterror officials say that is not the case, and warn the recent spate of terror attacks is merely part of the group’s evolution. VOA National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more.

Video Taiwan Looks for Role in South China Sea Dispute

The Taiwanese government is one of several that claims territory in the hotly contested South China Sea, but Taipei has long been sidelined in the dispute, overshadowed by China. Now, as the Philippines challenges Beijing’s claims in an international court at The Hague, Taipei is looking to publicly assert its claims. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.

Video Syrian Refugees in US Express Concern for Those Left Behind

Syrian immigrants in the United States are concerned about the negative tide of public opinion and the politicians who want to block a U.S. plan to accept 10,000 Syrian refugees. Zlatica Hoke reports many Americans are fighting to dispel suspicions linking refugees to terrorists.

Video After Paris Attacks, France Steps Up Fight Against IS

The November 13 Paris attacks have drawn increased attention to Syria, where many of the suspected perpetrators are said to have received training. French President Francois Hollande is working to build a broad international coalition to defeat Islamic State in Syria and in Iraq. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video US, Cambodian Navies Pair Up in Gulf of Thailand

The U.S. Navy has deployed one of its newest and most advanced ships to Cambodia to conduct joint training drills in the Gulf of Thailand. Riding hull-to-hull with Cambodian ships, the seamen of the USS Fort Worth are executing joint-training drills that will help build relations in Southeast Asia. David Boyle reports for VOA from Preah Sihanouk province.

Video Americans Sharpen Focus on Terrorism

Washington will be quieter than usual this week due to the Thanksgiving holiday, even as Americans across the nation register heightened concerns over possible terrorist threats. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports new polling data from ABC News and the Washington Post newspaper show an electorate increasingly focused on security issues after the deadly Islamic State attacks in Paris.

Video World Leaders Head to Paris for Climate Deal

Heads of state from nearly 80 countries are heading to Paris (November 30-December 11) to craft a global climate change agreement. The new accord will replace the Kyoto Protocol on Climate Change that expired in 2012.

Video Uncertain Future for Syrian Refugee Resettlement in Illinois

For the trickle of Syrian refugees finding new homes in the Midwest city of Chicago, the call to end resettlement in many U.S. states is adding another dimension to their long journey fleeing war. Organizations working to help them integrate say the backlash since the Paris attacks is both harming and helping their efforts to provide refugees sanctuary. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.

Video Creating Physical Virtual Reality With Tiny Drones

As many computer gamers know, virtual reality is a three-dimensional picture, projected inside special googles. It can fool your brain into thinking the computer world is the real world. But If you try to touch it, it’s not there. Now Canadian researchers say it may be possible to create a physical virtual reality using tiny drones. VOA’s George Putic reports.

Video New American Indian Village Takes Visitors Back in Time

There is precious little opportunity to experience what life was like in the United States before its colonization by European settlers. Now, an American Indian village built in a park outside Washington is taking visitors back in time to experience the way of life of America's indigenous people. Carol Pearson narrates this report from VOA's June Soh.

Video Even With Hometown Liberated, Yazidi Refugees Fear Return

While the northern Iraqi town of Sinjar has been liberated from Islamic State forces, it's not clear whether Yazidi residents who fled the militants will now return home. VOA’s Mahmut Bozarslan talked with Yazidis, a religious and ethnic minority, at a Turkish refugee camp in Diyarbakır. Robert Raffaele narrates his report.

Video Nairobi Tailors Make Pope Francis’ Vestments

To ensure the pope is properly attired during his visit, the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops asked the Dolly Craft Sewing Project in the Nairobi slum of Kangemi to make the pope's vestments, the garments he will wear during the various ceremonies. Jill Craig reports.

Video Cross-Border Terrorism Puts Europe’s Passport-Free Travel in Doubt

The fallout from the Islamic State terror attacks in Paris has put the future of Europe’s passport-free travel area, known as the "Schengen Zone," in doubt. Several of the perpetrators were known to intelligence agencies, but were not intercepted. Henry Ridgwell reports from London European ministers are to hold an emergency meeting Friday in Brussels to look at ways of improving security.

Video El Niño Brings Unexpected Fish From Mexico to California

Fish in an unexpected spectrum of sizes, shapes and colors are moving north, through El Niño's warm currents from Mexican waters to the Pacific Ocean off California’s coast. El Nino is the periodic warming of the eastern and central Pacific Ocean. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, this phenomenon thrills scientists and gives anglers the chance of a once-in-a-lifetime big catch. Faith Lapidus narrates.

Video Terrorism in Many Forms Continues to Plague Africa

While the world's attention is on Paris in the wake of Friday night's deadly attacks, terrorism from various sides remains a looming threat in many African countries. Nigerian cities have been targeted this week by attacks many believe were staged by the violent Islamist group Boko Haram. In addition, residents in many regions are forced to flee their homes as they are terrorized by armed militias. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video Study: Underage Marriage Rate Higher for Females in Pakistan

While attitudes about the societal role of females in Pakistan are evolving, research by child advocacy group Plan International suggests that underage marriage of girls remains a particularly big issue in the country. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports how such marriages leads to further social problems.

VOA Blogs

Day in Photos

A dog, with his fur dyed green and wearing antlers made out of red fabric, poses for a photograph before participating in the Thanksgiving Day Parade in El Paso, Texas, United States, Nov. 26, 2015.

A dog, with his fur dyed green and wearing antlers made out of red fabric, poses for a photograph before participating in the Thanksgiving Day Parade in El Paso, Texas, United States, Nov. 26, 2015.