News / Middle East

US Expects IAEA Report to Reflect Concerns Over Iran Nuclear Program

A sign reading
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

Obama: Alaskans Feel Signs of Climate Change

They're seeing bigger storm surges as sea ice melts, more wildfires, erosion of glaciers, shorelines More

Katrina Brought Enduring Changes to New Orleans

The city’s recovery is the result of the people and culture the city is famous for, as well as newcomers and start-up industries More

Magical Photo Slides Show Native Americans in Late 1800s

Walter McClintock spent 20 years photographing the Blackfoot Indians and their vanishing culture at the dawn of the modern age 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.
Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalatesi
X
August 27, 2015 2:08 AM
Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Is China's Economic Data Accurate?

Some investors say China's wild stock market gyrations have been made worse by worries about the reliability of that nation's economic data. And some critics say the reports can mislead investors by painting an unrealistically-strong picture of the economy. A key China scholar says Beijing is not fudging ((manipulating)) the numbers, but that the economy is evolving quickly from smoke-stack industries to services, and the ways of tracking new economic activity are falling behind the change. V
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Shipping Containers Provide Experimental Housing

Housing prices around the San Francisco Bay area are out of reach for many people, so some young entrepreneurs, artists and tech industry workers are creating their own houses using converted shipping containers. But as VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Oakland, the effort requires ingenuity and dealing with restrictive local laws.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video Technique May Eliminate Drill-and-Fill Dental Care

Many people dread visiting dentists because they're afraid of drills. Now, however, a technology developed by a British firm promises to eliminate the need for mechanical cleaning of dental cavities by speeding a natural process of tooth repair. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.
Video

Video French Experiment in Integrating Roma Under Threat

Plans to destroy France’s oldest slum have sparked an outcry on the part of its Roma residents. As Lisa Bryant reports from the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, rights groups argue the community is a fledgling experiment on integrating Roma who are often outcasts in many parts of Europe.
Video

Video Kenyans Turn to Agriculture for Business

Each year Kenyan universities continue to churn out graduates for the job market despite the already existing high rate of unemployment among youth in the country. Some of these young men and women have realized that agriculture can be as rewarding as any other business or job, and they are resorting to agribusiness in large numbers as a way of tackling unemployment. Rael Ombuor reports for VOA.
Video

Video First Women Graduate Elite Army Ranger School

Two women are making history for the U.S. Army by proving they are among the toughest of the tough. VOA's Carla Babb reports from Fort Benning, Georgia as 94 men and those two women rise as graduates of the difficult Ranger school.

VOA Blogs