World News

Talks on Iran's Nuclear Program 'Substantive'

Six world powers and Iran have ended two days of talks on Tehran's nuclear program with both sides describing the negotiations in hopeful terms in a rare joint statement.

The tone by both sides in Geneva was a dramatic shift from previous talks between Iran and the so-called P5+1 group that have failed to resolve differences over Iran's nuclear program.

A senior U.S. official described the latest discussions as "intense, detailed, straightforward and candid." And the White House said the talks showed "a level of seriousness and substance" that the United States had never seen before.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said they were a step towards "closing an unnecessary crisis."

The European Union's foreign policy chief, Catherine Ashton, said the talks were "substantive and forward looking" and that a new round of negotiations is scheduled for November 7-8 in Geneva.



Ashton, who is leading talks with Iran on behalf of the P5+1, did not reveal details on the substance of the meetings that ended Wednesday.

She read a joint statement endorsed by Iran and the six-country group and said world powers are "carefully" examining Iran's proposal which aims to resolve a decade-old nuclear dispute with the West.

The discussions brought together Iranian officials and representatives from Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States plus Germany.

Key P5+1 demands include the acceptance by Iran of a comprehensive verification regime - with unannounced checks by the International Atomic Energy Agency - and a reduction in Iran's level of uranium enrichment.

Earlier Wednesday, Iran's state-run news agency IRNA quoted Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi as saying neither inspections nor uranium reduction were within the first part of an Iranian proposal in the talks, "but form part of our last steps."

Iran's Zarif said Tehran's plan contained three phases that could settle the long-running nuclear standoff "within a year," with the first achievable steps "within a month or two, or even less."

Iran's proposal aims to assure the international community its nuclear program is peaceful. In exchange, Iran is seeking relief from international sanctions imposed to try to force it to halt uranium enrichment activities.

The Geneva talks are the first since relative moderate Hassan Rouhani was elected Iran's president in June. He promised to lead a diplomatic effort to get economic sanctions against Iran eased, but P5+1 officials have said Iran must prove its sincerity through concrete steps before that will happen.

In previous negotiations, world powers called for Iran to give up its existing stockpile of uranium enriched to 20 percent purity and send it abroad. Uranium of that purity is a short technical step away from being converted to weapons-grade material.

But Russia expressed caution on Wednesday. Sergey Ryabkov, Russia's deputy foreign minister and a key negotiator on Iran, was quoted as saying the results in Geneva "do not guarantee further progress."


###

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Expelled from Pakistan, Afghan Refugees Return to Increased Hardshipi
X
Ayesha Tanzeem
May 28, 2015 6:48 PM
Undocumented refugees returning to Afghanistan from Pakistan have no jobs, no support system, and no home return to, and international aid agencies say they and the government are overwhelmed and under-resourced. Ayesha Tanzeem has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Expelled from Pakistan, Afghan Refugees Return to Increased Hardship

Undocumented refugees returning to Afghanistan from Pakistan have no jobs, no support system, and no home return to, and international aid agencies say they and the government are overwhelmed and under-resourced. Ayesha Tanzeem has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Britain Makes Controversial Move to Crack Down on Extremism

Britain is moving to tighten controls on extremist rhetoric, even when it does not incite violence or hatred -- a move that some are concerned might unduly restrict basic freedoms. It is an issue many countries are grappling with as extremist groups gain power in the Middle East, fueled in part by donations and fighters from the West. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video Floodwaters Recede in Houston, but Rain Continues

Many parts of Texas are recovering from one of the worst natural disasters to hit the southwestern state. Heavy rains on Monday and early Tuesday caused rivers to swell in eastern and central Texas, washing away homes and killing at least 13 people. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, floodwaters are receding slowly in the country's fourth-largest city, and there likely is to be more rain in the coming days.
Video

Video 3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Car

Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Al-Shabab Recruitment Drive Still on In Kenya

The al-Shabab militants that have long battled for control of Somalia also have recruited thousands of young people in Kenya, leaving many families disconsolate. Mohammed Yusuf recently visited the Kenyan town of Isiolo, and met with relatives of those recruited, as well as a many who have helped with the recruiting.
Video

Video US Voters Seek Answers From Presidential Candidates on IS Gains

The growth of the Islamic State militant group in Iraq and Syria comes as the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign kicks off in the Midwest state of Iowa.   As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, voters want to know how the candidates would handle recent militant gains in the Middle East.
Video

Video A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensions

When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
Video

Video Film Festival Looks at Indigenous Peoples, Culture Conflict

A recent Los Angeles film festival highlighted the plight of people caught between two cultures. Mike O'Sullivan has more on the the Garifuna International Film Festival, a Los Angeles forum created by a woman from Central America who wants the world to know more about her culture.
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 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 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 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.

VOA Blogs