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

China’s Influence Grows With New Infrastructure Bank

Multibillion-dollar China-backed and BRICS-supported Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank seen as possible challenger to such lenders as IMF, World Bank More

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

Rabbi Michel Serfaty makes the rounds in his friendship bus to encourage dialogue and break down barriers between the two groups More

Post-deal Iran Leaders Need 'Economic Momentum' to Solidify

Economists say deal could inject more than $100 billion into coffers - not enough to entirely rescue ailing economy - but maybe adequate to create 'economic momentum' 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.
US Gay Marriage Ruling Yields Real-life Impacti
X
Michael Bowman
June 28, 2015 10:05 PM
Friday’s landmark Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage throughout the United States is an outcome few thought possible just years ago, and shows a nation that increasingly tolerates and even celebrates the hopes and aspirations of gay people. VOA’s Michael Bowman spoke to a same-sex couple that will benefit from the high court ruling, and to a Christian scholar who is apprehensive about its potential consequences for America’s faith community.
Video

Video US Gay Marriage Ruling Yields Real-life Impact

Friday’s landmark Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage throughout the United States is an outcome few thought possible just years ago, and shows a nation that increasingly tolerates and even celebrates the hopes and aspirations of gay people. VOA’s Michael Bowman spoke to a same-sex couple that will benefit from the high court ruling, and to a Christian scholar who is apprehensive about its potential consequences for America’s faith community.
Video

Video Syrians Flee IS Advance in Hasaka

The Syrian government said Monday it has taken back one of several districts in Hasaka overrun by Islamic State militants. But continued fighting elsewhere in the northern city has forced thousands of civilians from their homes. In this report narrated by Bill Rodgers, VOA Kurdish Service reporter Zana Omer describes the scene in Amouda, where some of the displaced are taking refuge.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video S. Korea Christians Protest Gay Rights Festival

The U.S. Supreme Court decision mandating marriage equality nationwide has energized gay rights supporters around the world. Gay rights remain a highly contentious issue in a key U.S. ally, South Korea, where police did a deft job Sunday of preventing potential clashes between Christian protesters and gay activists. Kurt Achin reports from Seoul.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Nubians in Kenya Face Land Challenges

East Africa's ethnic Nubians have a rich cultural history that dates back thousands of years, but in Kenya they are facing hardships, including the loss of lands they have lived on for generations. They say the government has reneged on its pledge to award them title deeds for the plots. VOA's Lenny Ruvaga reports.
Video

Video Syrian Refugees Return to Tal Abyad

Syrian refugees in Turkey confirm they left their hometown of Tal Abyad because of intense fighting and coalition airstrikes, not because Kurdish fighters were engaged in ethnic cleansing, as some Turkish officials charged. VOA Kurdish Service reporter Zana Omer, in Tal Abyad, finds that civilians coming back to the town agree, as we hear in this report narrated by Roger Wilkison.
Video

Video Military Experts Question New Russian Tank Capabilities

Russia has been showing off its new tank design – the Armata T-14. Designers claim it is 20 years ahead of current Western designs - and driving it feels like playing a computer game. But military analysts question those assertions, and warn the cost could be too heavy a burden for Russia’s struggling economy. Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.
Video

Video In Syrian Crisis, Social Media Offer Small Comforts

Za’atari, a makeshift city in Jordan, may be the only Syrian refugee camp to tweet its activities, in an effort to keep donors motivated as the war in Syria intensifies and the humanitarian crisis deepens. Inside the camp, families say mobile phone applications help hold together families that are physically torn apart. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.
Video

Video Chemical-Sniffing Technology Fights Australia's Graffiti Vandals

Cities and towns all over the world spend huge amounts of resources battling graffiti writers who deface buildings, public transport vehicles and even monuments. Authorities in Sydney, Australia, hope a new chemical-sniffing technology finally will stop vandals from scribbling on walls in the passenger areas of commuter trains. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Cambodia Struggling to Curb Child Labor

Earlier this year a United Nations report found 10 percent of Cambodian children aged 7-14 are working – one of the highest rates in the region – and said one in four children in that age bracket are forced to quit school to help their families. Although the child labor rate has dropped over the past decade, Cambodia has a lot more to do – including keeping more children in school. Robert Carmichael reports for VOA from Phnom Penh.

VOA Blogs