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

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