News / Middle East

US Expects IAEA Report to Reflect Concerns Over Iran Nuclear Program

A sign reading "Atomic Power plant" points the way to the nuclear power plant in Bushehr, Iran,  Feb. 25, 2009.
A sign reading "Atomic Power plant" points the way to the nuclear power plant in Bushehr, Iran, Feb. 25, 2009.

U.S. officials say the United States continues to focus on a diplomatic solution to the standoff with Iran over its nuclear program.  Our correspondent reports on remarks Monday by President Barack Obama's spokesman and the State Department in response to questions about an expected International Atomic Energy Agency report on Iran.

Questions about the IAEA report, some details of which have been leaked in advance of its formal submission by the Vienna-based agency, led the White House news briefing.

Media reports have focused on some key findings.  Israeli media outlets have reported on intense government and public debate there about a potential preemptive military strike on Iran.

A Washington Post newspaper report said Western diplomats and nuclear experts who reviewed the intelligence believe Iran has taken key steps in overcoming technical challenges in developing an atomic weapon, with the help of foreign scientists.  Iran maintains that its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes.

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said the IAEA report is expected to "echo and reinforce" concerns about Iran's behavior and its failure to comply with international obligations, adding that international sanctions on Iran have been effective.  

Carney said the United States continues to pursue a diplomatic approach, but he repeated the longstanding position that no option can be ruled out.  He responded this way when asked how the Washington would view a preemptive strike by Israel on Iranian nuclear facilities:

"We are certainly now in a situation that did not exist before, where because of the dual-track approach this president took and this administration took, it is now clear to the world that the U.S. is not the issue here, it is Iran, it is Iranian behavior," said Carney. "That has allowed us to mobilize the international community in a way that hasn't existed in the past, and to come together putting pressure on Iran to change its behavior."

Carney had much the same response when asked what President Obama plans to do after the IAEA report is issued, and about the effectiveness of sanctions on Iran.

At the State Department, Spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said the United States and other countries have had preliminary briefings.

"I think we have had a sense from the [IAEA] director general's office of what the report will encompass and some of the places that it might point to difficulty," said Nuland. "But again, until the report is finalized, until he has briefed it, I don't want to get ahead of him [the IAEA director general]."

Nuland repeated the U.S. and international position that Iran is permitted to use its nuclear program for peaceful purposes, as long as it is transparent and allows full inspections.  But she said Iran has not allowed full inspections and exchanges of information that would reassure the world, and that Tehran has continued enriching uranium to more than 20 percent - well beyond what is needed for peaceful energy purposes.

At last week's G20 summit in France, President Obama said Iran's nuclear program poses a "continuing threat," and urged Tehran to meet its nuclear obligations.

Asked on Monday whether Mr. Obama might make a new statement on the Iranian nuclear issue, Jay Carney only repeated that the president would not comment on the issue before the report is formally released.   

You May Like

Video Experts Warn World Losing Ebola Fight

Doctors Without Borders says world is losing battle against Ebola, unless wealthy nations dispatch specialized biological disaster response teams More

Video Experts: Rise of Islamic State Significant Development in Jihadism

Many analysts contend the group - which grew out of al-Qaida in Iraq - has been rebuilding for years More

US-Based Hong Kongers Pledge Support for Pro-Democracy Activists

Democracy advocates call on Chinese living abroad to join them in opposing new election rules for their home territory 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.
Larger Than Life Chinese Lanterns Make Southern California Appearancei
X
Elizabeth Lee
September 02, 2014 8:57 PM
Chinese lanterns with a long history are lighting up in 21st century style at the Los Angeles County Fair in southern California. Visitors can see traditional lanterns that hang, but also lanterns in the shape of animals, iconic landmarks and many other objects, all created by artisans from a place in China known for its lanterns. Elizabeth Lee has the details from the fair in the city of Pomona.
Video

Video Larger Than Life Chinese Lanterns Make Southern California Appearance

Chinese lanterns with a long history are lighting up in 21st century style at the Los Angeles County Fair in southern California. Visitors can see traditional lanterns that hang, but also lanterns in the shape of animals, iconic landmarks and many other objects, all created by artisans from a place in China known for its lanterns. Elizabeth Lee has the details from the fair in the city of Pomona.
Video

Video Experts See Rise of ISIS as Significant Development

The Islamic State’s rise seems sudden. It caught the U.S. by surprise this summer when it captured large portions of northern Iraq and spread its wings in neighboring Syria. But many analysts contend that the group - which grew out of al-Qaida in Iraq - has been rebuilding for years. VOA's Jela de Franceschi takes a closer look at the rise of ISIS and its implications for the Middle East and beyond.
Video

Video Israel Concerned Over Syrian Rebels in Golan

Israeli officials are following with concern the recent fighting between Syrian rebels and government forces near the contested Golan Heights. Forty-four U.N. peacekeepers from Fiji have been seized by Syrian Islamist rebels and the clashes occasionally have spilled into Israel. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forces

A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video US Detainees Want Negotiators for Freedom in North Korea

The three U.S. detainees held in North Korea were permitted to speak with foreign media Monday. The government of Kim Jong Un restricted the topics of the questions, and the interviews in Pyongyang were limited to five minutes. Each of the men asked Washington to send a representative to Pyongyang to secure his release. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti has our story.
Video

Video Turkmen From Amerli Describe Survival of IS Siege

Over the past few weeks, hundreds of Shi'ite Turkmen have fled the town of Amerli seeking refuge in the northern city of Kirkuk. Despite recent military gains after U.S. airstrikes that were coordinated with Iraqi and Kurdish forces, the situation remains dire for Amerli’s residents. Sebastian Meyer went to Kirkuk for VOA to speak to those who managed to escape.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered at the Union League Club in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.

AppleAndroid