News / Europe

West to Restrain Targeting of Iran at IAEA Meeting

Iranian President Hasan Rouhani speaks during the debate on the proposed Cabinet at the parliament, in Tehran, Iran, Aug. 15, 2013.
Iranian President Hasan Rouhani speaks during the debate on the proposed Cabinet at the parliament, in Tehran, Iran, Aug. 15, 2013.
Reuters
World powers will refrain from raising pressure on Iran at a U.N. nuclear meeting next week to give its new moderate president time to show he is serious about moves to reduce tensions over its atomic activity, Western diplomats say.
 
But they stressed that concrete progress is needed soon in the dispute: talks on Sept. 27 between Iran and U.N. nuclear inspectors will be scrutinized for any sign that the new Iranian government will be more transparent and less confrontational as President Hassan Rouhani has pledged.
 
Iran says its nuclear energy program is for electricity generation and medical uses only, rejecting Western accusations it is covertly trying to develop the capability to make bombs.
 
The June election of Rouhani as president, succeeding conservative hardliner Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, has stirred hopes that it may be possible to resolve a decade-old dispute and avert the threat of a new Middle East war.
 
Rouhani, keen to secure a relaxation of harsh international sanctions on Iran, has signaled readiness to be more open about Iranian nuclear activities in return for the acceptance of Tehran's right to enrich uranium for peaceful purposes.
 
The Sept. 9-13 meeting of the 35-nation board of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), one of four annually, will be its first since Rouhani's rise.
 
During Ahmadinejad's eight-year tenure, the board passed six resolutions rebuking Iran over its nuclear defiance and evasions of IAEA scrutiny, demanding a suspension of enrichment and full cooperation with IAEA inspectors, and clearing the way to successive batches of United Nations sanctions since 2006.
 
“There has definitely been a change in tone from the Iranian government which we recognize and welcome,” a Western envoy said, speaking ahead of next week's governing board meeting.
 
“We have to give them at least the time to translate their words into action,” the envoy added, noting there were no plans — unlike previous board meetings — to push for a resolution to chide Iran over its refusal to curb sensitive atomic activity.
 
So far there is no clear indication of Iran slowing its nuclear campaign. An IAEA report last week showed Iran preparing to test 1,000 advanced uranium enrichment centrifuges, enabling it to produce more quickly nuclear material that can have both military and civilian applications.
 
More than 'words'
 
“We expect and hope to see more than words” from Iran, the senior diplomat said, echoing views of other Western officials in Vienna, where the IAEA is based.
 
The calibrated Western restraint towards Iran at this board meeting contrasts with U.S. preparations for punitive air strikes on Tehran's closest regional ally, Syria, over a poison gas attack in its civil war that killed hundreds of civilians.
 
There are concerns U.S. action against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad could give hawks in Iran's multi-tiered power structure an opening to scuttle Rouhani's diplomacy.
 
Western envoys at the IAEA declined to comment on suggestions that another reason for easing off on Iran at the board meeting was a wish not to make Rouhani more vulnerable to hardliners at home if U.S. strikes against Syria go ahead.
 
Sept. 27 IAEA-Iran talks
 
The United States late last year warned it may ask the IAEA governors to report Iran to the U.N. Security Council if it kept stonewalling the U.N. agency's investigation into suspected atomic bomb research by Tehran.
 
Iran — which was first reported to the U.N. Security Council over its nuclear program by the IAEA board in 2006 and then was hit by U.N. sanctions — says allegations of such covert activities are based on forged intelligence from its foes.
 
Another senior Western diplomat said the Iran-IAEA meeting later this month would be an opportunity for Iran to convey a “different message” to the outside world. “September 27 is going to be a very interesting day,” the envoy said.
 
The two sides have held 10 rounds of negotiations since early 2012 in an attempt by the IAEA to resume its inquiry.
 
The talks have failed to yield results but Iran last month announced it would replace the envoy who has led the country's team in the discussions, in a possible sign of its desire for a new start after Rouhani's election.
 
“One would hope that by November there is some greater clarity on what Iran is prepared to do to resolve the issues that have been put on the table,” the second Western diplomat said, referring to the next quarterly meeting of the IAEA board.
 
The Iran-IAEA talks are separate, but still closely linked, to negotiations between six major powers — the United States, Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany — and Iran aimed at finding a broader diplomatic solution to the nuclear dispute.

You May Like

How to Safeguard Your Mobile Privacy

As the digital world becomes more mobile, so too do concerns about eroding privacy and increased hacking More

'Desert Dancer' Chronicles Iranian Underground Dance Troupe

Film by Richard Raymond is based on true story of Afshin Ghaffarian and his friends More

Researcher: Obesity Poses Complex Problem

Professor at Symposium on Obesity, Diabetes and Metabolic Syndrome says problem involves more than calorie intake, warns of worldwide health impact More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thoughti
X
George Putic
May 26, 2015 9:26 PM
Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video US-led Coalition Gives Some Weapons to Iraqi Troops

In a video released Tuesday from the Iraqi Ministry of Defense, Iraqi forces and U.S.-led coalition troops survey a cache of weapons supplied to help Iraq liberate Mosul from Islamic State group. According to a statement provided with the video, the ministry and the U.S.-led coaltion troops have started ''supplying the 16th army division with medium and light weapons in preparation to liberate Mosul and nearby areas from Da'esh (Arabic acronym for Islamic State group).''
Video

Video Amnesty International: 'Overwhelming Evidence' of War Crimes in Ukraine

Human rights group Amnesty International says there is overwhelming evidence of ongoing war crimes in Ukraine, despite a tentative cease-fire with pro-Russian rebels. Researchers interviewed more than 30 prisoners from both sides of the conflict and all but one said they were tortured. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Washington Parade Honors Those Killed Serving in US Military

Every year, on the last Monday in the month of May, millions of Americans honor the memories of those killed while serving in the armed forces. Memorial Day is a tradition that dates back to the 19th Century. While many people celebrate the federal holiday with a barbecue and a day off from work, for those who’ve served in the military, it’s a special day to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice. Arash Arabasadi reports for VOA from Washington.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.
Video

Video On Film: How Dance Defies Iran's Political Oppression

'Desert Dancer' by filmmaker Richard Raymond is based on the true story of a group of young Iranians, who form an underground dance troupe in the Islamic Republic of Iran. This is the latest in a genre of films that focus on dance as a form of freedom of expression against political oppression and social injustice. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Turkey's Ruling Party Trying to Lure Voters in Opposition Stronghold

Turkey’s AK (Justice and Development) Party is seeking a fourth successive general election victory, with the goal of securing two-thirds of the seats in Parliament to rewrite the constitution and change the country's parliamentary system into a presidential one. To achieve that, the party will need to win seats in opposition strongholds like the western city of Izmir. Dorian Jones reports.
Video

Video Millions Flock to Ethiopia Polls

Millions of Ethiopians cast their votes Sunday in the first national election since the 2012 death of longtime leader Meles Zenawi. Mr. Meles' party, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front, is almost certain of victory again. VOA's Anita Powell reports from Addis Ababa.

VOA Blogs