News / Middle East

Optimism Present as Iranian Nuclear Talks Set to Resume

Optimism Present as Iranian Nuclear Talks Set to Resumei
X
October 12, 2013 3:04 AM
Iran is expected to introduce new proposals regarding its controversial nuclear program when talks with major Western nations resume next Tuesday in Geneva. As VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports, there is cautious optimism because this is the first round of negotiations since Iran’s new president took office.

Optimism Present as Iranian Nuclear Talks Set to Resume

Meredith Buel
— Iran is expected to introduce new proposals regarding its controversial nuclear program when talks with major Western nations resume next Tuesday in Geneva. There is cautious optimism because this is the first round of negotiations since Iran’s new president took office.

Iranian war games in the Middle East. U.S. warplanes roaring down an aircraft runway in the Persian Gulf. Military muscle flexing has for years been indicative of the adversarial relationship between Iran and the West.

But with sanctions crippling Iran’s economy, however, diplomacy now has taken center stage.

Recently-elected President Hassan Rouhani says it is time for a new approach. “Iran will prepare and present it in Geneva. We hope that even a more effective step will be taken in Geneva in order to settle the nuclear issue.”

The biggest symbolic breakthrough came when U.S. President Barack Obama spoke to his Iranian counterpart on the phone, opening the way for a possible thaw in relations.

This creates a new dynamic, according to Iran expert Patrick Clawson with The Washington Institute. “This team wants to get a deal that is on Iran’s terms and there is going to be some hard negotiating, but they want to get a deal," he said. “That is the big difference.”

The West wants Iran to halt production of near weapons grade uranium. It wants to stop activities at the underground Fordow plant, part of what the U.S. and Israel say is an undercover weapons program, a charge Tehran denies.

Another major issue is the heavy water plant at Arak, which could soon produce plutonium, a second route to nuclear weapons.

The West will want a vigorous program of verification.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said it is time not for words but action. "So what we need are a set of proposals from Iran that fully disclose how they will show the world that their program is peaceful.”

Israel has threatened military strikes unless Iran’s program is curtailed.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said, “So long as Iran has not dismantled the centrifuges or the plutonium reactors, there should be no relaxing of the sanctions.”

Iran wants relief from sanctions that have severely restricted oil exports. It also wants access to the international monetary system, after its currency has plummeted in value.

Ultimately, analysts say, one man will determine whether Iran will agree to a deal - Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

“While we are optimistic about the diplomatic delegation of our dear nation and government, we are pessimistic about the Americans,” said Khamenei.

Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif was named to head his country’s negotiating team. Iranian state media say Tehran wants Western powers to send top diplomats to the talks.

You May Like

China Investigates Former Powerful Security Chief

Former security chief and member of Politburo Standing Committee, Zhou Yongkang, under investigation for suspected 'serious disciplinary violation' More

India, US Look to Reset Ties During Kerry Visit

This week's talks will be first high level interaction between two countries since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took charge More

Video Young African Leadership Program Renamed to Honor Mandela

YALI program, launched by President Obama in 2010, aims to build skills in business, entrepreneurship, public management and civic leadership More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid