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

    New EU Asylum Rules Could Boost Rightists

    New regulations will seek to correct EU failures in dealing with migrant crisis, most notably inability to get member states to absorb a total of 160,000 refugees

    More Political Turmoil Likely in Iraq as Iran Waits in the Wings

    Analysts warn that Tehran, even though it may not be engineering the Sadrist protests in Baghdad, is seeking to leverage its influence on its neighbor

    Forced Anal Testing Case to Appear Before Kenya Court

    Men challenge use of anal examinations to ‘prove homosexuality’; practice accomplishes nothing except to humiliate those subjected to them, according to Human Rights Watch

    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.
    Tensions Rising Ahead of South China Sea Rulingi
    X
    May 03, 2016 5:16 PM
    As the Philippines awaits an international arbitration ruling on a challenge to China's claims to nearly all of the South China Sea, it is already becoming clear that regardless of which way the decision goes, the dispute is intensifying. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
    Video

    Video Tensions Rising Ahead of South China Sea Ruling

    As the Philippines awaits an international arbitration ruling on a challenge to China's claims to nearly all of the South China Sea, it is already becoming clear that regardless of which way the decision goes, the dispute is intensifying. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
    Video

    Video Painting Captures President Lincoln Assassination Aftermath

    A newly restored painting captures the moments following President Abraham Lincoln’s assassination in 1865. It was recently unveiled at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, where America’s 16th president was shot. It is the only known painting by an eyewitness that captures the horror of that fateful night. VOA’s Julie Taboh tells us more about the painting and what it took to restore it to its original condition.
    Video

    Video Elephant Summit Results in $5M in Pledges, Presidential Support

    Attended and supported by three African presidents, a three-day anti-poaching summit has concluded in Kenya, resulting in $5 million in pledges and a united message to the world that elephants are worth more alive than dead. The summit culminated at the Nairobi National Park with the largest ivory burn in history. VOA’s Jill Craig attended the summit and has this report about the outcomes.
    Video

    Video Displaced By War, Syrian Artist Finds Inspiration Abroad

    Saudi-born Syrian painter Mohammad Zaza is among the millions who fled their home for an uncertain future after Syria's civil war broke out. Since fleeing Syria, Zaza has lived in Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan and now Turkey where his latest exhibition, “Earth is Blue like an Orange,” opened in Istanbul. He spoke with VOA about how being displaced by the Syrian civil war has affected the country's artists.
    Video

    Video Ethiopia’s Drought Takes Toll on Children

    Ethiopia is dealing with its worst drought in decades, thanks to El Nino weather patterns. An estimated 10 million people urgently need food aid. Six million of them are children, whose development may be compromised without sufficient help, Marthe van der Wolf reports for VOA from the Metahara district.
    Video

    Video Little Havana - a Slice of Cuban Culture in Florida

    Hispanic culture permeates everything in Miami’s Little Havana area: elderly men playing dominoes as they discuss politics, cigar rollers deep at work, or Cuban exiles talking with presidential candidates at a Cuban coffee window. With the recent rapprochement between Cuba and United States, one can only expect stronger ties between South Florida and Cuba.
    Video

    Video California Republicans Weigh Presidential Choices Amid Protests

    Republican presidential candidates have been wooing local party leaders in California, a state that could be decisive in selecting the party's nominee for U.S. president. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports delegates to the California party convention have been evaluating choices, while front-runner Donald Trump drew hundreds of raucous protesters Friday.
    Video

    Video Kurdish Football Team Helps War-Torn City Cope

    With the conflict still raging across much of Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, between the rebel PKK and the Turkish state, many Kurds are trying to escape the turmoil by focusing on the success of their football team Amedspor in Diyarbakir. The club is increasingly becoming a symbol for Kurds, not only in Diyarbakir but beyond. Dorian Jones reports from southeast Turkey.
    Video

    Video ‘The Lights of Africa’ - Through the Eyes of 54 Artists

    An exhibition bringing together the work of 54 African artists, one from each country, is touring the continent after debuting at COP21 in Paris. Called "Lumières d'Afrique," the show centers on access to electricity and, more figuratively, ideas that enlighten. Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, the exhibition's first stop.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora