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Rouhani: Iran Won't Give Up Nuclear Rights

Rouhani - Iran - UNRouhani - Iran - UN
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Rouhani - Iran - UN
Rouhani - Iran - UN
VOA News
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani says his country will not give up what it considers its nuclear rights, including uranium enrichment on Iranian soil, in any deal with international negotiators.

Rouhani spoke to the Iranian parliament - a bastion of conservative hardliners - after his foreign minister and other officials reported progress but no agreement in talks with six world powers that ended in Geneva early Sunday. The negotiations are scheduled to resume next week.

The talks between Iran and the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany are aimed at persuading Iran to suspend work that could allow it to build nuclear weapons. In exchange, the U.N. would ease some of its sanctions against Iran.

France said it was concerned that a proposed deal would do too little to curb Iran's uranium enrichment or to stop the development of a nuclear reactor capable of producing plutonium.

Israel, which calls Iran's nuclear drive a mortal threat, warned against any deal that would leave some of Iran's nuclear fuel-making capacity intact, while giving Tehran respite from sanctions.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry told NBC television Sunday that in the negotiations the United States is "not blind, and I don't think we're stupid." He said the U.S. administration is determined that any deal with Iran "would be a good deal" that will "provide the guarantees that Israel and the rest of the world demand."

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif told reporters the three days of marathon talks were good and gave all sides something to build on. He said he hopes there can be a deal when the talks resume November 20.

British Foreign Secretary William Hague told British television Sunday that a deal on Iran's controversial nuclear program is within reach, and could be completed within weeks. However, Hague said negotiations are very difficult.

European Union foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton said there was concrete progress but that differences remain.

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