News / Middle East

US, Allies, Consider Iranian Offer for Nuclear Talks

The reactor building of Iran's Bushehr nuclear power plant (File Photo)
The reactor building of Iran's Bushehr nuclear power plant (File Photo)

The State Department says the United States and other major powers are considering an Iranian offer to resume talks on its nuclear program. The negotiating process has been on hold since what U.S. officials say was a “disappointing” round of talks in Istanbul in January.

The State Department is confirming that the Iranian offer came in a letter Monday to European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton.

But officials here are non-committal about whether the proposal will be accepted, and say the United States is consulting with others in the negotiations about the Iranian proposal.

In a long-running effort, the so-called P5 +1 grouping of world powers - Britain, France, China, Russia and Germany along with the United States - have offered Iran incentives to curb a uranium-enrichment program believed to be weapons-related. Iran says its nuclear program is for peaceful use.

At a news briefing, State Department Acting Deputy Spokesman Mark Toner declined to discuss specifics of the Iranian note, other than to say that P5 +1diplomats are studying its contents and considering next steps. “We obviously stand by the unified P5 +1 position that High Representative Ashton expressed in her letter after what we would consider the disappointing meetings in Istanbul - that we believe Iran should be prepared to negotiate seriously on the nuclear issue," he said.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Monday in Istanbul his government has been ready for talks and that the nuclear issue could be resolved in a one-hour meeting. He reaffirmed Iran’s stand that it is legally entitled to enrichment technology for civilian purposes.

U.S. officials have said Iran can have a civil nuclear program, but only after satisfying the world community it is not seeking weapons.

In another development, the State Department said it has been told by Swiss diplomats who represent U.S. interests in Iran that Tehran officials have set May 11 as the new trial date for two American hikers held in Iran for nearly two years.

Iran has charged the two men, Shane Bauer and Josh Fattal, with espionage. But U.S. officials have denied any spying role and say they apparently strayed into Iran while hiking in northern Iraq in July of 2009.

U.S. spokesman Toner said it is time for Iran to free the Americans without conditions. “We urge Iran to resolve this case as soon as possible. Josh Fattal and Shane Bauer have been imprisoned for almost two years and it is time to reunite them with their families," he said.

A third hiker, Sarah Shourd, who is the fiancee of Shane Bauer, was released on $500,000 bail by Iran for health reasons last September and returned to the United States. She has said she will not return to Iran for the trial.

Amnesty International, in a statement Tuesday, called on Iran to end the “flawed” trial process and release the two Americans. The watchdog group said the Iranian justice system has “systematically failed” to observe international fair-trial standards in the case.

You May Like

Turkey's Erdogan: Women Not Equal to Men

Speaking at conference in Istanbul, President Erdogan says Islam has defined a position for women: motherhood More

Ahead of SAARC Summit, Subdued Expectations

Some regional analysts say distrust between Pakistani, Indian officials has slowed SAARC's progress over the year More

Philippines Leery of Development on Reef Reclamation in S. China Sea

Chinese land reclamation projects in area have been ongoing for years, but new satellite imagery reportedly shows China’s massive construction project 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.
Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Changei
X
November 24, 2014 10:09 PM
Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Change

Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Mali Attempts to Shut Down Ebola Transmission Chain

Senegal and Nigeria were able to stop small Ebola outbreaks by closely monitoring those who had contact with the sick person and quickly isolating anyone with symptoms. Mali is now scrambling to do the same. VOA’s Anne Look reports from Mali on what the country is doing to shut down the chain of transmission.
Video

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Famine

During a commemoration for millions who died of starvation in Ukraine in the early 1930s, President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at Soviet-era totalitarianism for causing the deaths and accused today’s Russian-backed rebels in the east of using similar tactics. VOA’s Daniel Shearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests at a Crossroads

New public opinion polls in Hong Kong indicate declining support for pro-democracy demonstrations after weeks of street protests. VOA’s Bill Ide in Guangzhou and Pros Laput in Hong Kong spoke with protesters and observers about whether demonstrators have been too aggressive in pushing for change.
Video

Video US Immigration Relief Imminent for Mixed-Status Families

Tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants in the Washington, D.C., area may benefit from a controversial presidential order announced this week. It's not a path to citizenship, as some activists hoped. But it will allow more immigrants who arrived as children or who have citizen children, to avoid deportation and work legally. VOA's Victoria Macchi talks with one young man who benefited from an earlier presidential order, and whose parents may now benefit after years of living in fear.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid