News / Middle East

    Larijani: Iran, World Powers Must Build Confidence

    Ali Larijani, Speaker of the Iranian Parliament, gestures during a news conference after the 129th Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union in Geneva, Oct. 9, 2013.
    Ali Larijani, Speaker of the Iranian Parliament, gestures during a news conference after the 129th Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union in Geneva, Oct. 9, 2013.
    Lisa Schlein
    A senior Iranian official calls next week’s negotiations between Iran and six world powers "a window of opportunity." Former nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani, now the speaker of Iran's parliament, says differences over his country's nuclear program with the West can be resolved.

     Larijani expects the upcoming talks with world powers in Geneva over Iran's controversial nuclear program to be serious.  He said his government has devised plans, which it will propose.

    Larijani added that he views next week’s negotiations positively, because countries that have been applying sanctions on Iran and leveling threats against his country are opting for a political solution. 

    “As I see it, this change, if I can use the word, in itself is positive," he said, "I will further explain by saying that if the collective will at work here, if it takes up a political solution over others then finding a resolution to the whole problem would not be that difficult a task.” 

    The West fears Iran is building a nuclear weapons program, Iran says it only has peaceful aims.

    Iran and six world powers have been trying to reach a deal since 2006.  The latest talks, held in April in Kazakhstan ended in deadlock as did previous rounds.

    Since then, the tone between Washington and Tehran has softened. U.S. President Barack Obama recently held a short phone conversation with Iran's newly-elected President Hassan Rouhani, the first direct contact between the two countries' top leadership in more than three decades.

    The contact capped a week of outreach to the West by Rouhani and Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif during the annual opening session of the U.N. General Assembly.

    Representatives from the so-called P5 plus one group, which include Britain, China, France, Russia, and the United States plus Germany, will aim to get Iran to rein in its nuclear program when they meet in Geneva on October 15 and 16.  

    The last proposal in Almaty called on Iran to halt 20 percent enrichment activities and to transfer part of its stockpile of enriched uranium to a third country under the supervision of the International Atomic Energy Agency.

    Iranian Foreign Minister Zarif said recently that the offer was no longer valid, and that the P5+1 should come to next week's negotiations with a "new point of view."

    Larijani said his country has resisted giving in to the West despite economic sanctions and the threat of the use of force and has enhanced its nuclear capability.

    “I will further explain by saying that those countries who used to think that by applying pressure and leveling sanctions they will be able to force Iran to change its position, have rather come to realize that despite all of these impediments, Iran has persisted and today has a more advanced access to peaceful nuclear technology,” he said.

    Tehran wants the United Nations and Western countries to lift the sanctions. But the U.S. has said sanctions will remain in place during the talks.

    You May Like

    How Aleppo Rebels Plan to Withstand Assad's Siege

    Rebels in Aleppo are laying plans to withstand a siege by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s forces in likelihood the regime cuts a final main supply line running west of city

    Probe Targeting China's Statistic Head Sparks Concern

    Economists now asking what prompted government to launch an investigation only months after Wang Baoan had been vetted for crucial job

    HRW: Both Sides in Ukraine Conflict Targeted, Used Schools

    Rights group documents how both sides in Ukraine conflict carried out attacks on schools and used them for military purposes

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Russia's Car Sales Shrink Overall, But Luxury and Economy Models See Growthi
    X
    February 10, 2016 5:54 AM
    Car sales in Russia dropped by more than a third in 2015 because of the country's economic woes. But, at the extreme ends of the car market, luxury vehicles and some economy brands are actually experiencing growth. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Russia's Car Sales Shrink Overall, But Luxury and Economy Models See Growth

    Car sales in Russia dropped by more than a third in 2015 because of the country's economic woes. But, at the extreme ends of the car market, luxury vehicles and some economy brands are actually experiencing growth. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Civil Rights Pioneer Remembers Struggle for Voting Rights

    February is Black History Month in the United States. The annual, month-long national observance pays tribute to important people and events that shaped the history of African Americans. VOA's Chris Simkins reports how one man fought against discrimination to help millions of blacks obtain the right to vote
    Video

    Video Jordanian Theater Group Stages Anti-Terrorism Message

    The lure of the self-styled “Islamic State” has many parents worried about their children who may be susceptible to the organization’s online propaganda. Dozens of Muslim communities in the Middle East are fighting back -- giving young adults alternatives to violence. One group in Jordan is using dramatic expression a send a family message. Mideast Broadcasting Network correspondent Haider Al Abdali shared this report with VOA. It’s narrated by Bronwyn Benito
    Video

    Video Migrant Crisis Fuels Debate Over Britain’s Future in EU

    The migrant crisis in Europe is fueling the debate in Britain ahead of a referendum on staying in the European Union that may be held this year. Prime Minister David Cameron warns that leaving the EU could lead to thousands more migrants arriving in the country. Meanwhile, tension is rising in Calais, France, where thousands of migrants are living in squalid camps. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Valentine's Day Stinks for Lebanese Clowns

    This weekend, on Valentine's Day in Lebanon, love is not the only thing in the air. More than half a year after the country's trash crisis began, the stink of uncollected garbage remains on the streets. Step forward "Clown Me In," a group of clowns who use their skills for activism. Before the most romantic day of the year the clowns have released their unusual take on love in Lebanon -- in a bid to keep the pressure up and get the trash off the streets. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Families Flee Aleppo for Kurdish Regions in Syria

    Not all who flee the fighting in Aleppo are trying to cross the border into Turkey. A VOA reporter caught up with several families heading for Kurdish-held areas of northern Syria.
    Video

    Video Rocky Year Ahead for Nigeria Amid Oil Price Crash

    The global fall in the price of oil has rattled the economies of many petroleum exporters, and Africa’s oil king Nigeria is no exception. As Chris Stein reports from Lagos, analysts are predicting a rough year ahead for the continent’s top producer of crude.
    Video

    Video 'No Means No' Program Targets Sexual Violence in Kenya

    The organizers of an initiative to reduce and stop rape in the informal settlements around Kenya's capital say their program is having marked success. Girls are taking self-defense classes while the boys are learning how to protect the girls and respect them. Lenny Ruvaga reports from Nairobi.
    Video

    Video Chocolate Lovers Get a Sweet History Lesson

    Observed in many countries around the world, Valentine’s Day is sometimes celebrated with chocolate festivals. But at a festival near Washington, the visitors experience a bit more than a sugar rush. They go on a sweet journey through history. VOA’s June Soh takes us to the festival.
    Video

    Video 'Smart' Bandages Could Heal Wounds More Quickly

    Simple bandages are usually seen as the first line of attack in healing small to moderate wounds and burns. But scientists say new synthetic materials with embedded microsensors could turn bandages into a much more valuable tool for emergency physicians. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Researchers Use 3-D Printer to Produce Transplantable Body Parts

    Human organ transplants have become fairly common around the world in the past few decades. Researchers at various universities are coordinating their efforts to find solutions -- including teams at the University of Pennsylvania and Rice University in Houston that are experimenting with a 3-D printer -- to make blood vessels and other structures for implant. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, they are also using these artificial body parts to seek ways of defeating cancerous tumors.
    Video

    Video Helping the Blind 'See' Great Art

    There are 285 million blind and visually impaired people in the world who are unable to enjoy visual art at a museum. One New York photographer is trying to fix this situation by making tangible copies of the world’s masterpieces. VOA correspondent Victoria Kupchinetsky was there as visually impaired people got a feel for great art. Joy Wagner narrates her report.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.