News / Middle East

Russia Sees Chance to Lift Iran Sanctions Through International Talks

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif waits for the start of closed-door nuclear talks with European foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton in Vienna, Austria, June 17, 2014.
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif waits for the start of closed-door nuclear talks with European foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton in Vienna, Austria, June 17, 2014.
Reuters

Russia said on Thursday the possibility of lifting sanctions on Iran had emerged thanks to international talks on Tehran's nuclear program and urged all countries involved to show political will to reach a deal.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif will meet his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov in Moscow on Friday to discuss the negotiations with six world powers on a decade-old stand-off over Tehran's nuclear ambitions.

The talks between Iran and the United States, France, Russia, Britain, China and Germany failed to yield a deal by a July deadline and were extended by four months in view of remaining wide differences in negotiating positions.

They are expected to resume in September, with the aim of reaching a settlement by Nov. 24 that would scale back Iran's nuclear program in exchange for a lifting of sanctions that are severely hurting its oil-dependent economy.

Russia's Foreign Ministry said it still hoped a deal was possible no later than November.

“Despite the difficult course of the negotiating process, a possibility is emerging to satisfy in full all integral rights of Iran as a member state of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, including the right to enrich uranium and lifting the sanctions regime,” it said.

“We presume all parties in the talks will show political will to reach a final, mutually acceptable agreement that would allow to fully restore the international community's trust in the exclusively peaceful character of Iran's nuclear program.”

In Paris, French President Francois Hollande told French diplomats: “Iran must have the courage to take measures that show in a verifiable and uncontested way that it renounces it's military nuclear capacity.”

Iran denies Western accusations that it has been seeking the capability to assemble nuclear weapons.

A senior Western diplomat said there had been no narrowing of opinions on the issue of Iran's capacity to enrich uranium, an activity that can have both civilian and military uses.

“The core of the problem remains the number of centrifuges,” the diplomat said this week, referring to the machines uses to refine uranium. The six powers were ready to accept Iran having about 3,000-5,000 centrifuges but Tehran wants “a figure that allows them to have an industrial capacity”, the diplomat said.

Iran now has about 19,400 installed centrifuges at its enrichment plants, of which it is operating roughly half.

Earlier this month, Russia and Iran announced a large oil-for-food deal but gave no details of the accord, highlighting problems the two face in overcoming Western sanctions -- Moscow hit by recent economic curbs over Ukraine and Teheran struggling for years under the weight of tight restrictions.

The Friday talks are also expected to touch on Syria, where Moscow and Tehran have both thrown their weight behind President Bashar al-Assad, and the situation in Afghanistan.   

You May Like

Myanmar Fighting Poses Dilemma for China

To gain some insight into conflict, VOA’s Steve Herman spoke with Min Zaw Oo, director of ceasefire negotiation and implementation at Myanmar Peace Center More

Australia Concerned Over Islamic State 'Brides'

Canberra believes there are between 30 and 40 Australian women who have taken part in terror attacks or are supporting the Islamic State terror network More

Recreational Marijuana Use Now Legal in Washington, DC

Law allows adults 21 and over to privately possess and smoke 0.05 kilogram of pot, and to grow small amounts of the plant More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Casei
X
Katherine Gypson
February 25, 2015 11:30 PM
The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Hurt Nascent Illinois Hydraulic Fracturing Industry

Falling oil prices are helping consumers purchase cheaper petroleum at the pump. But that’s made hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” less economically viable for the companies in the United States invested in the process. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports on one Midwestern town that was hoping to change its fortunes by cashing in on the next big U.S. oil boom.
Video

Video Fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan Fuels Mass Displacement

Heavy fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan state is causing hundreds of thousands to flee into uncertain conditions. Local aid organizations estimate as many as 400,000 civilians have been internally displaced since the conflict began more than three years ago, while another 250,000 have fled across the border to refugee camps in South Sudan. VOA's Adam Bailes reports.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.
Video

Video A Filmmaker Discovers Her Biracial Identity in "Little White Lie

Lacey Schwartz grew up in an upper middle-class Jewish family, in a town in upstate New York where almost everyone she knew was white. She assumed that she was, as well. Her recent documentary, Little White Lie, tells the story of how she uncovered the secret of her true racial background. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more on the film.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video US-Cuba Normalization Talks Resume Friday

Negotiations aimed at normalizing diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba resume Friday. On the table: lifting a half-century trade embargo and easing banking and travel restrictions. There's opposition in Congress, but some analysts say there may be sufficient political and economic incentives in both nations for a potential breakthrough this year. VOA's Mil Arcega reports.
Video

Video Pakistan's Deadline For SIM Registration Has Cellphone Users Scrambling

Pakistani cell phone users have until midnight Thursday to register their SIM cards, or their service will be cut off. While some privacy experts worry about government intrusion, many Pakistanis are just worried about keeping their phone lines open. VOA Deewa reporter Arshad Muhmand has more from Peshawar.
Video

Video Myanmar Warns Factory Workers to End Strikes

Outside Myanmar's main city Yangon, thousands of workers walked off their jobs earlier this month demanding a doubling of their wages, pay raises after a year and input from labor unions on industrial regulations. Since Friday, the standoff has grown more tense as police moved in to disrupt the sit-ins, resulting in clashes that injured people from both sides. VOA correspondent Steve Herman visited industrial zones which have become a focus of Myanmar's fledgling workers rights movement.
Video

Video Oscar Winners Do More Than Thank the Academy

The Academy Awards presentation is Hollywood’s night to reward the best movies from the previous year. It’s typically a lot of glitter, a lot of thank you’s, a lot of speeches. But many of this year’s speeches carried messages beyond the thank you's. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti takes a look.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More