News / Middle East

US 'Fully Prepared' for New Nuclear Talks With Iran

State Department Spokesman P.J. Crowley (file photo)
State Department Spokesman P.J. Crowley (file photo)

The State Department said Wednesday the United States is "fully prepared" to take part along with other major powers in new talks with Iran about its nuclear program. Iran this week expressed renewed interest in discussing a proposed trade of its low-enriched uranium for foreign fuel for a Tehran research reactor.

Officials here say Iran's stepped-up enrichment activity in recent months has somewhat reduced the importance of the uranium-swap proposed last October.

But they say they are none-the-less ready to take part in a dialogue with Tehran on the reactor proposal and broader international concerns about its nuclear intentions.

Iran sent a letter to the International Atomic Energy Agency this week proposing to re-start talks on an exchange of nuclear fuel, reaffirming an offer raised  earlier this month with European Union chief diplomat Catherine Ashton.  

Last October the five permanent U.N. Security Council member countries and Germany, the P5+1, proposed that Iran send 1,200 kilograms of its low-enriched uranium abroad in exchange for a much smaller amount of highly-enriched fuel for a medical reactor.

At the time, the 1,200 kilograms represented about half of Iran's uranium stockpile. Its current inventory is now much larger.

But State Department Spokesman P.J. Crowley said the United States remains ready to join in a dialogue process, that would address the proposed swap and broader issues.

"We have clearly indicated to Iran on a number of occasions our willingess to engage along with other members of the P5+1 to address the international community's concerns about Iran's nuclear program," said  Crowley. "There have been contacts between Iran and High Representative Catherine Ashton about a prospective meeting. I've got nothing to announce here. But obviously we are fully prepared to follow up with Iran on specifics regarding our initial proposal involving the Tehran research reactor."

The United States and key allies believe Iran's enrichment program is weapons-related despite its professions of peaceful intent.

Crowley expressed hope the contacts with Iran can yield, in the coming weeks, a meeting similar to that held last October when senior big-power diplomats including U.S. Undersecretary of State William Burns met Iranian nuclear negotiator Said Jalili.

On another issue, Crowley reaffirmed the U.S. call on Iran for the release of three American hikers arrested by Iran after straying into Iranian territory from northern Iraq a year ago.

With what he termed the "tragic" anniversary of the three American's capture approaching on Saturday, the spokesman again rejected Iranian suggestions they were spying and said Iran should free them now on humanitarian grounds.

"Iran considers itself a great country, considers itself a civilized country, it wants to have the respect of the international community and the United States," he said. "But respect is earned. And if Iran wants our respect, then sending these three young people home would be an important step in that direction."

The Americans, Sarah Shourd, Shane Bauer and Joshua Fattal, are being held in a Tehran jail though no formal charges have been filed against them. Iran allowed the mothers of the three detainees to visit them in prison in May.

You May Like

EU Court Fines Poland for Hosting CIA 'Black Sites'

Ruling is first time a court has acknowledged suspects were held and tortured at the sites, under US program launched following the 9/11 terrorist attacks More

Migrant Issues Close to Home Spur Groups to Take Action

Groups placing water, food in the desert, or aiding detainees after release, have one common goal: no more deaths of migrants crossing illegally into the US More

Video At AIDS Conference, Prevention Pill Stirs Excitement

Truveda shows promise, spurring debate over access and other approaches 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.
Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debatei
X
Shelley Schlender
July 24, 2014 6:43 PM
In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Death Toll From Israel-Gaza Conflict Surpasses 700

Gaza officials say a shelling hit a compound housing a United Nations-run school in the Gaza Strip, killing more than a dozen people, during an Israeli offensive in the area. Heavy fighting between the Israeli military and Hamas militants continued on Thursday, pushing up the death toll. So far, more than 730 Palestinians and 35 Israelis have been killed in the conflict. VOA's Scott Bobb has the latest from Jerusalem.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnels

The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video Researchers Target Low-Cost Avatar Technology

Scientists at the University of Southern California Institute for Creative Technologies say 3-dimensional representations could revolutionize social media. Elizabeth Lee has more from Los Angeles.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.

AppleAndroid