News / Middle East

Iran Says Seeks ‘Practical Solution’ to Rift with UN Inspectors

Iran's Ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency, IAEA, Reza Najafi, second left, arrives for talks with IAEA Deputy Director General and Head of the Department of Safeguards Tero Tapio Varjoranta at the International Center in Vienna, Austria,
Iran's Ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency, IAEA, Reza Najafi, second left, arrives for talks with IAEA Deputy Director General and Head of the Department of Safeguards Tero Tapio Varjoranta at the International Center in Vienna, Austria,
VOA News
Iran's new proposal to U.N. inspectors is practical and meant to “solve the issue”, an Iranian envoy said before a second day of talks on Tuesday, a hint Tehran may cooperate more with an inquiry into suspected nuclear arms research in the country.

A series of meetings since early 2012 have yielded no deal that would give the International Atomic Energy Agency access to sites, files and officials relevant to its investigation. But the election in June of a moderate Iranian president has opened doors for good-faith negotiations to end the deadlock.

Reza Najafi, Iran's new ambassador to the IAEA, made the comment late on Monday to an Iranian news agency after he and other Iranian officials met with senior IAEA experts at the agency's Vienna headquarters.

Tehran denies having any nuclear weapons ambitions, saying it is enriching uranium and trying to master nuclear technology only for electricity generation and medical treatments.

Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi said in Vienna on Monday that he had put forward proposals to IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano and pledged a “new approach” in dealings with the U.N. agency. But he gave no details.

“Our proposal is practical and intended to solve the issue between Iran and the agency,” Najafi told the ISNA news agency, adding that Iranian and IAEA experts had “entered into substantive discussions in these negotiations”.

Najafi made clear he believed the time had come to find new ways to bridge differences between Iran and the IAEA on how the U.N. agency's investigation should be carried out.

“The approach of the past cannot be implemented and there must be changes to it,” Najafi said.

Expectations for this week's Vienna talks, the first since pragmatic President Hassan Rouhani took office, were relatively high and diplomats believed Iran might soon offer concessions, perhaps by permitting U.N. inspectors to visit its Parchin military base southeast of Tehran - long an IAEA priority.

The IAEA-Iran discussions resumed around 10 a.m. (0900 GMT) on Tuesday and were expected to end around lunchtime, officials from both sides said.

Taking advantage of the diplomatic opening enabled by Rouhani, Iran and six world powers have revived separate negotiations towards a broader political settlement of the nuclear dispute to head off any risk of a new Middle East war.

Their last meeting was held on Oct. 15-16 in Geneva, and another one is scheduled for Nov. 7-8.

An end to Iran's higher-grade enrichment of uranium is a central demand of the powers. Refining uranium to 20 percent is sensitive as it is a relatively short technical step to raise that to the 90 percent needed for a nuclear bomb.

Iran says its nuclear program is a peaceful bid to generate electricity. But its refusal to curb activity that can also have military applications and lack of full openness with the IAEA have drawn increasingly tough sanctions, cutting Iran's daily oil sales earnings by 60 percent since 2011.

You May Like

Obama: Alaskans Feel Signs of Climate Change

They're seeing bigger storm surges as sea ice melts, more wildfires, erosion of glaciers, shorelines More

Katrina Brought Enduring Changes to New Orleans

The city’s recovery is the result of the people and culture the city is famous for, as well as newcomers and start-up industries More

Magical Photo Slides Show Native Americans in Late 1800s

Walter McClintock spent 20 years photographing the Blackfoot Indians and their vanishing culture at the dawn of the modern age More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalatesi
X
August 27, 2015 2:08 AM
Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Is China's Economic Data Accurate?

Some investors say China's wild stock market gyrations have been made worse by worries about the reliability of that nation's economic data. And some critics say the reports can mislead investors by painting an unrealistically-strong picture of the economy. A key China scholar says Beijing is not fudging ((manipulating)) the numbers, but that the economy is evolving quickly from smoke-stack industries to services, and the ways of tracking new economic activity are falling behind the change. V
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Shipping Containers Provide Experimental Housing

Housing prices around the San Francisco Bay area are out of reach for many people, so some young entrepreneurs, artists and tech industry workers are creating their own houses using converted shipping containers. But as VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Oakland, the effort requires ingenuity and dealing with restrictive local laws.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video Technique May Eliminate Drill-and-Fill Dental Care

Many people dread visiting dentists because they're afraid of drills. Now, however, a technology developed by a British firm promises to eliminate the need for mechanical cleaning of dental cavities by speeding a natural process of tooth repair. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.
Video

Video French Experiment in Integrating Roma Under Threat

Plans to destroy France’s oldest slum have sparked an outcry on the part of its Roma residents. As Lisa Bryant reports from the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, rights groups argue the community is a fledgling experiment on integrating Roma who are often outcasts in many parts of Europe.
Video

Video Kenyans Turn to Agriculture for Business

Each year Kenyan universities continue to churn out graduates for the job market despite the already existing high rate of unemployment among youth in the country. Some of these young men and women have realized that agriculture can be as rewarding as any other business or job, and they are resorting to agribusiness in large numbers as a way of tackling unemployment. Rael Ombuor reports for VOA.
Video

Video First Women Graduate Elite Army Ranger School

Two women are making history for the U.S. Army by proving they are among the toughest of the tough. VOA's Carla Babb reports from Fort Benning, Georgia as 94 men and those two women rise as graduates of the difficult Ranger school.

VOA Blogs