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

    Hope Remains for Rio Olympic Games, Despite Woes

    Facing a host of problems, Rio prepares for holding the games but experts say some risks, like Zika, may not be as grave as initially thought

    IS Use of Social Media to Recruit, Radicalize Still a Top Threat to US

    Despite military gains against IS in Iraq and Syria, their internet propaganda still commands an audience; US officials see 'the most complex challenge that the federal government and industry face'

    ‘Time Is Now’ to Save Africa’s Animals From Poachers, Activist Says

    During Zimbabwe visit, African Wildlife Foundation President Kaddu Sebunya says poaching hurts Africa as slave trade once did

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Ivorian Chocolate Makers Promote Locally-made Chocolatei
    X
    July 29, 2016 4:02 PM
    Ivory Coast is the world's top producer of cocoa but hardly any of it is processed into chocolate there. Instead, the cocoa is sent abroad to chocolate makers in Europe and elsewhere. This is a general problem throughout Africa – massive exports of raw materials but few finished goods. As Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, several Ivorian entrepreneurs are working to change that formula - 100 percent Ivorian chocolate bar at a time.
    Video

    Video Ivorian Chocolate Makers Promote Locally-made Chocolate

    Ivory Coast is the world's top producer of cocoa but hardly any of it is processed into chocolate there. Instead, the cocoa is sent abroad to chocolate makers in Europe and elsewhere. This is a general problem throughout Africa – massive exports of raw materials but few finished goods. As Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, several Ivorian entrepreneurs are working to change that formula - 100 percent Ivorian chocolate bar at a time.
    Video

    Video Tesla Opens Battery-Producing Gigafactory

    Two years after starting to produce electric cars, U.S. car maker Tesla Motors has opened the first part of its huge battery manufacturing plant, which will eventually cover more than a square kilometer. Situated close to Reno, Nevada, the so-called Gigafactory will eventually produce more lithium-ion batteries than were made worldwide in 2013. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Polio-affected Afghan Student Fulfilling Her Dreams in America

    Afghanistan is one of only two countries in the world where children still get infected by polio. The other is Pakistan. Mahbooba Akhtarzada who is from Afghanistan, was disabled by polio, but has managed to overcome the obstacles caused by this crippling disease. VOA's Zheela Nasari caught up with Akhtarzada and brings us this report narrated by Bronwyn Benito.
    Video

    Video Hillary Clinton Promises to Build a 'Better Tomorrow'

    Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton urged voters Thursday not to give in to the politics of fear. She vowed to unite the country and move it forward if elected in November. Clinton formally accepted the Democratic Party's nomination at its national convention in Philadelphia. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more.
    Video

    Video Trump Tones Down Praise for Russia

    Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is toning down his compliments for Russia and Vladimir Putin as such rhetoric got him in trouble recently. After calling on Russia to find 30.000 missing emails from rival Hillary Clinton, Trump told reporters he doesn't know Putin and never called him a great leader, just one who's better than President Barack Obama. Putin has welcomed Trump's overtures, but, as Zlatica Hoke reports, ordinary Russians say they are not putting much faith in Trump.
    Video

    Video Uganda Unveils its First Solar-powered Bus

    A solar-powered bus described by its Ugandan makers as the first in Africa has made its public debut. Kiira Motors' electric bus, Kayoola, displayed recently at a stadium in Uganda's capital. From Kampala, Maurice Magorane filed this report narrated by Salem Solomon.
    Video

    Video Silicon Valley: More Than A Place, It's a Culture

    Silicon Valley is a technology powerhouse and a place that companies such as Google, Facebook and Apple call home. It is a region in northern California that stretches from San Francisco to San Jose. But, more than that, it's known for its startup culture. VOA's Elizabeth Lee went inside one company to find out what it's like to work in a startup.
    Video

    Video Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video Dutch Entrepreneurs Turn Rainwater Into Beer

    June has been recorded as one of the wettest months in more than a century in many parts of Europe. To a group of entrepreneurs in Amsterdam the rain came as a blessing, as they used the extra water to brew beer. Serginho Roosblad has more to the story.
    Video

    Video Commerce Thrives on US-Mexico Border

    At the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this week, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, is expected to attack proposals made by her opponent, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Last Friday, President Barack Obama hosted his Mexican counterpart, President Enrique Peña Nieto, to underscore the good relations between the two countries. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Tucson.
    Video

    Video Film Helps Save Ethiopian Children Thought to be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at effort of African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora