News / Middle East

Progress Cited, but No Accord in Iran Nuclear Talks

No Iran Accord After Kerry Talksi
July 17, 2014 12:18 PM
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has ended three days of talks with his Iranian counterpart without breaking the deadlock over the future of Iran's nuclear program. But lower level-talks will continue -- at least until a Sunday deadline to reach long-term agreement . VOA's Al Pessin reports from Vienna.
VIDEO: U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has ended three days of talks with his Iranian counterpart without breaking the deadlock over the future of Iran's nuclear program. But lower level-talks will continue. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Vienna.
Al Pessin

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is heading back to Washington three days of talks with Iran in Vienna, as Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif called for extended negotiations if a deal with world powers is not achieved by the July 20 deadline.

Kerry said after the latest meeting on Iran's nuclear program Tuesday that diplomats from Iran and a group of six world powers have made progress in talks, but "very real gaps remain" on key issues.

Zarif echoed Kerry's sentiments, noting "serious differences" but saying they have "made enough headway to tell our political bosses that this is a process worth continuing."

Both diplomats stressed that meeting a Sunday deadline is still possible. Kerry also said there is "no question" that Iran has a right to a peaceful nuclear program.

"What we are trying to do is find a way for Iran to have an exclusively peaceful nuclear program while giving the world all the assurances required to know that Iran is not seeking a nuclear weapon," Kerry said. "I want to underscore: These goals are not incompatible. In fact, they are realistic. But we have not yet found the right combination or arrived at the workable formula."

During a break in talks, Zarif also described a willingness to continue seeking an accord.

"Iran has made a choice to engage," he said. "And we have shown in the last six months that, in spite of all the obstacles, we have lived up to our commitments. We are prepared to continue to do so and we have shown that we are a serious negotiating partner." 

Iran's Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khameini, appears to have complicated the issue, recently declaring that Iran needs to increase its enrichment capability nearly 20-fold.

In the United States, some members of Congress say they won't vote to lift sanctions unless Iran gives up its enrichment capability. So even if the negotiators can find compromises, it will likely be difficult to convince some leaders back home, says Ali Vaez of the International Crisis Group.

"These negotiations are more informed by constraints of domestic politics than by real imperatives of national interest," Vaez said.

The United States, Britain, China, France, Russia and Germany reached an interim agreement with Iran last year that curbed its nuclear program in exchange for limited sanctions relief.  

They have since been working on getting assurances that Iran is not and will not seek nuclear weapons, while Iran wants the repeal of international sanctions that have hurt its economy. Iran has long maintained its nuclear program is solely for peaceful purposes like power generation and medical research.

The Associated Press pointed out that, without a pact on nuclear talks, the United States would have fewer chances to negotiate with the Islamic Republic on urgent Mideast issues such as sectarian fighting in Syria and Iraq.

Secretary Kerry said if there is no accord by Sunday, the United States will assess the progress, and the prospects for more, and then decide whether to agree to an extension.

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Comment Sorting
by: Lawrence Bush from: Houston, Texas
July 16, 2014 7:21 AM
The realities of statecrft, art of state governance; so, it is the world policy that the nation states and we Americans do promulgate and practice .......... are very different from one another. Being a super power state on earth that we Americans do build by our efforts, dedications, sacrifices, vision and imaginatios.......... we do move our geopolitical strategies to make entire mankind safe. One world must endeavor to know the angularised mentality of short, truncated dimensions do not work in fulsome manner It is world collectivity of the top, brilliant brains of this world that do.

The same does happen in context of the Iranian nuclear issue. Lackdaisicality of many how world should know a specific issue. a very protracted problem that's anchored toward a meaningful solution. There is progress over the Vienna n- talks but no clear cut deal can be signed ....that means we do prepare omlettes without breaking eggs ..that has been the policies of our current govt. over the Iranian n - issue that one one world ....every intellectual does acknowledge.
In Response

by: 1worldnow from: Earth
July 16, 2014 9:13 PM
Seriuosly, dude, we are but simple peoples. Are you talking to Dennis Miller? He is funny as heck, but when he starts rambling-head-bobbling-with $50 words and expressions, I'm not sure to laugh or change the channel. But after reading your comment, I am just going to turn the TV off.

by: 1worldnow from: Earth
July 16, 2014 3:06 AM

Have you noticed that no one in VOA has ever agreed with your stupid and ridiculous unequal treaty garbage? I'm the only one who responds to your idiocracies! I'm your only friend. Come on over, pal, I'll make you a sandwich. Do you want it toasted? Help me out here, Meanbuddy? What can 1worldnowee do to make you say one nice thing about the USA? Just one nice thing, just one. I'll even throw in some Pringles, low sodium. What do ya say, huh?

by: JohnL
July 15, 2014 3:35 PM
The United States set a deadline and promised to greatly increase the sanctions if it was not met. Unfortunately the current administration has a reputation of not delivering on its threats and promises such that it can be safely ignored.

Without a doubt there will be waffling and extensions "because progress is being made" when the deadline arrives. The result will be a real problem for subsequent enemies of the United States when we elect a new President and return to not making threats and promises unless we mean them - we'll have to bury them so that they understand the current weakness is a one-time exception.

In Response

by: 1worldnow from: Earth
July 16, 2014 3:09 AM
Now hold on a second, 1worldnow is here to defend Obama. He has done a lot, more than anyone knows. This is what Obama has done, since everyone wants to just hate on Obama: he has talked a lot about this, he has issued threats of sanctions, he has talked some more, he smiles for the cameras, he checks the polls, he talks some more, and......he likes to take selfies too. I don't see a problem with this guy at all.

NEITHER DOES IRAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

by: meanbill from: USA
July 15, 2014 1:36 PM
When dealing with the US on any agreement, you'd better double check, and triple check, any US agreement they want you to sign, and then double check, and triple check it, again? .... or you may end up signing an "Unequal Treaty" by misinterpreting a single letter or word, in the US final agreement? When the US got a "No Fly Zone" over Libya from the UN... and the US interpreted it as a UN right to kill Qaddafi and his family, and destroy Libya? ... So beware, that there isn't any language in any agreement you sign with the US, that could possibly be interpreted as anything that would allow any sanctions, embargos, or attacks on your country, under any circumstances...... REMEMBER Qaddafi, when signing?

by: Lawrence Bush from: Houston, Texas
July 15, 2014 1:18 PM
Over the Iranian nuclear row, there do remain a lot of ambiguities from reaching out a consesusnal conclusion so far despite the repeated constructive dialouge process several times. P5 plus Germany v/s Iran to conclude over the n - imbroglio still remains inconclusive. Both the sides do fail to abridge the gap so far as if there there does remain a high voltage cable wire; if, that is to be cut onto its core metal, that high voltage would burn them. The Iranian side should be praised as they do still defend their n - enrichment program in defiance against P5 plus our friendly state Germany despite a number of economic sanctions on behalf of our friendly states of the EU and ours as well. Stinging diplomacies are necessary to have the right breakthrough, not this sort of moderate policies that do go on still.
In Response

by: 1worldnow from: Earth
July 16, 2014 2:54 AM
Hey Texas, can you please pretend like you are talking to a bunch of construction workers at a barbecue? Man, your $50 words and expressions leaves me with a bunch of "?????". Who are you speaking to?

But as far as I can decipher your comment, diplomacy is the reason the world is falling apart today!!!!! All our world leaders just talk and talk and threaten. Oh, and smile for the cameras.

by: michael from: nigeria
July 15, 2014 11:44 AM
Iran that suplied terrorrist with modern weapon should not be allow to build neuclear bomb because i know that it will end up on terrorrist;s hand
In Response

by: 1worldnow from: Earth
July 16, 2014 2:49 AM
Hello Nigerian! Nice that you are concerned about nuclear weapons ending up in terrorists' hands. Did you know that your little girls ended up in terrorists' hands, Boko Haram? Ever hear of them? I have posted comments on every story concerning your little girls. I haven't seen one comment from any Nigerian, except for commants about issues around the world. But what I have noticed more than ever, is the vast amounts of fake lottery scams that are from Nigerians. Tell me, Mr Nigeria, do people really fall for those scams. I get one's that are from the FBI: "you have to send $98 via Western Union to Nigeria, or you will be arrested." Really? Or the fake Barristers with inheritances in the $millions, just send the processing fees, to Nigeria via Western Union, and I will receive my millions! Really? But you are concerned about Israel and the survival of Israel, or if Iran gets a nuclear bomb, but nothing about your precious little girls. Michael, do you even care?

Anyone reading this, go to the Africa section, and read every story about the Nigerian girls, and about Malala (Pakistani girl shot in the head, survived) trying to help get these girls back. See how many Nigerians posts comments there.

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