News / Middle East

Iran and World Powers Begin Nuclear Talks in Vienna

US: Iran Must Prove Peaceful Nuclear Intentionsi
X
July 03, 2014 2:19 AM
As the July 20 deadline looms for an agreement on Iran's nuclear program, the United States says Tehran has a clear choice when it comes to demonstrating its peaceful intentions. VOA's Aru Pande has more as delegates from Iran and the world's major powers gather in Vienna for a sixth round of negotiations.
Watch related video report from VOA's Aru Pande
VOA News

Delegates from Iran and six world powers have begun a final round of talks as the deadline approaches for a final agreement on Tehran's nuclear program.

Negotiators from Iran, the United States, Britain, France, Germany, China and Russia began the opening plenary session of the sixth round of nuclear talks Thursday in Vienna.

On Wednesday, Iran signaled it is ready to take concrete steps to ensure its nuclear program remains peaceful, but will not ''kneel in submission."

Speaking in a YouTube video, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif urged negotiators to use mutual respect in negotiations, rather than what he called a "spiral of escalation."

The parties face a July 20 deadline for a final agreement or risk the possibility that the talks could be extended and get tougher. Last month's attempts at a deal aimed at curbing Iran's nuclear program in exchange for lifting U.N. and Western sanctions ended in a stalemate.

The two sides are believed to be far apart on key issues, such as to what extent Iran will be allowed to keep enriching uranium and to what extent sanctions will be lifted.

Secretary of State John Kerry wrote in The Washington Post this week that Iran's leaders can "agree to the steps necessary to assure the world that their country’s nuclear program will be exclusively peaceful... or they can squander a historic opportunity to end Iran’s economic and diplomatic isolation and improve the lives of their people."

Iran says it does not want a bomb, insisting its nuclear program is strictly for peaceful civilian purposes.

The State Department warned that time is running out for Iran to prove it does not want a nuclear weapon.

"What we are asking for are reasonable, verifiable, and easily achievable measures.  But we have not yet seen what choice the Iranians will make. This isn't one of capacity. It's one of will, and we will see what we can get done," said State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf in Washington.

U.S. Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes said "good progress" on a nuclear deal has been made, with the United States providing limited sanctions relief after Iran took certain steps in the last six months.

"Iran [is] meeting its commitments to, again, get rid of its stockpile of 20-percent enriched uranium, not install new advanced centrifuges, provide for additional transparency," said Rhodes.

But, Rhodes said, Iran has not taken the necessary steps to assure world leaders of its peaceful nuclear intentions.

Choices regarding Iran will likely be made as the situation in its neighbor Iraq continues to deteriorate amid political turmoil and a Sunni militant group fighting to gain more territory.

U.S. officials raised the Iraqi conflict with Iran on the sidelines of last month's nuclear talks, but want to keep the issues separate. Singh said this is because the U.S. wants to avoid Iran using assistance in ending the turmoil in Iraq as a bargaining chip.

"I think the view on the U.S. side is that Iran will try to use the Iraqi issue or other regional issues as leverage in the nuclear negotiations," explained Singh.

For the next three weeks, the focus will be on finalizing a nuclear deal. And while Iran has said it is open to extending negotiations, U.S. officials say they will not drag out talks unless there is a genuine willingness for all sides to come to an agreement.

You May Like

Turbulent Transition Imperils Tunisia’s Arab Spring Gains

Critics say new anti-terrorism laws worsen Tunisia's situation while others put faith in country’s vibrant civil organizations, women’s movement More

Burundi’s Political Crisis May Become Humanitarian One

United Nations aid agencies issue warning as deadly violence sends tens of thousands fleeing More

Yemenis Adjust to Life Under Houthi Rule

Locals want warring parties to strike deal to stop bloodletting before deciding how country is governed More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: MKhattib from: USA
July 03, 2014 6:20 PM
Iran will not relinquish its desire to not only expand its refining capacity, but also improve it with next generation centrifuges. While the West wants Iran to downsize from its current 19,000 centrifuge level, Iran has staunchly stated its desire to expand with another 30,000 new centrifuges. Iran can live with most other concessions, because so long as it preserves it refining capacity, it still retains the ability to generate large amounts of weapons grade material quickly. Ultimately this is going to be the Achilles heel of these negotiations and rightly so. As long as Iran stays on this path, the West should resist and not conclude this agreement.

by: 1worldnow from: Earth
July 03, 2014 8:15 AM
Let's talk about how we can add more fuel to the fire! The UNaware, UNcaring, and Unbelievable UN will talk us all to death, literally!

by: Godwin from: Nigeria
July 03, 2014 7:43 AM
Iran believes it holds the four aces. And why not if the US has dropped certain options from the table irrespective of pretending some of them were still there. I mean that the troubles in Ukraine, Syria, Iraq and the fear that Russia might be up to something out there keeps Obama administration overstretched. Wary of tripping over another red line, especially with ebbing popularity of the president, Iran understands that the US is making every effort to avoid wars or even a mention of it as a way of shoring up self-centered gains at the cost of national interest.

The mishandling of the situation in Syria that has once again produced another deadly tentacle of the death merchant al qaida at ISIL now troubling US interests in Iraq shows how helpless the US has become to even help itself. So Iran, wary of all that, must make good on the negotiations even with a bluff, until the leadership at the White House is changed for something that can bring about a restoration of dignity.

Until then, it continues to progressively change from 'Iran must not enrich uranium' to 'Iran can be allowed to maintain limited enrichment', to 'Iran can be allowed to enrich as much as it wants if it can prove its enrichment is for peaceful purposes only'. And why not? After all the president's agenda or manifesto was predicated on CHANGE, so nothing is wrong if everything keeps changing in so far as it is "change". Surely we are changing into a situation of dangerous CHANGE right now jeopardizing the world.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Texas Town Residents Told to 'Just Leave' Ahead of Flood Threati
X
Greg Flakus
May 29, 2015 11:24 PM
Water from heavy rain in eastern and central Texas is now swelling rivers that flow into the Gulf of Mexico, threatening towns along their banks. VOA’s Greg Flakus visited the town of Wharton, southwest of Houston, where the Colorado River is close to cresting.
Video

Video Texas Town Residents Told to 'Just Leave' Ahead of Flood Threat

Water from heavy rain in eastern and central Texas is now swelling rivers that flow into the Gulf of Mexico, threatening towns along their banks. VOA’s Greg Flakus visited the town of Wharton, southwest of Houston, where the Colorado River is close to cresting.
Video

Video New York's One World Trade Center Observatory Opens to Public

From New Jersey to Long Island, from Northern suburbs to the Atlantic Ocean, with all of New York City in-between.  That view became available to the public Friday as the One World Trade Center Observatory opened in New York -- atop the replacement for the buildings destroyed in the September 11, 2001, attacks.  VOA’s Bernard Shusman reports.
Video

Video Seoul Sponsors Korean Unification Fair

With inter-Korean relations deteriorating over the North’s nuclear program, past military provocations and human rights abuses, many Koreans still hold out hope for eventual peaceful re-unification. VOA’s Brian Padden visited a “unification fair” held this week in Seoul, where border communities promoted the benefits of increased cooperation.
Video

Video Purple Door Coffeeshop: Changing Lives One Cup at a Time

For a quarter of his life, Kevin Persons lived on the street. Today, he is working behind the counter of an espresso bar, serving coffee and working to transition off the streets and into a home. Paul Vargas reports for VOA.
Video

Video Modular Robot Getting Closer to Reality

A robot being developed at Carnegie Mellon University has evolved into a multi-legged modular mechanical snake, able to move over rugged surfaces and explore the surroundings. Scientists say such machines could someday help in search and rescue operations. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Shanghai Hosts Big Consumer Electronics Show

Electronic gadgets are a huge success in China, judging by the first Asian Consumer Electronics Show, held this week in Shanghai. Over the course of two days, more than 20,000 visitors watched, tested and played with useful and some less-useful electronic devices exhibited by about 200 manufacturers. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Forced to Return Home, Afghan Refugees Face Increased Hardship

Undocumented refugees returning to Afghanistan from Pakistan have no jobs, no support system, and no home return to, and international aid agencies say they and the government are overwhelmed and under-resourced. Ayesha Tanzeem has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Britain Makes Controversial Move to Crack Down on Extremism

Britain is moving to tighten controls on extremist rhetoric, even when it does not incite violence or hatred -- a move that some are concerned might unduly restrict basic freedoms. It is an issue many countries are grappling with as extremist groups gain power in the Middle East, fueled in part by donations and fighters from the West. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video 3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Car

Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Al-Shabab Recruitment Drive Still on In Kenya

The al-Shabab militants that have long battled for control of Somalia also have recruited thousands of young people in Kenya, leaving many families disconsolate. Mohammed Yusuf recently visited the Kenyan town of Isiolo, and met with relatives of those recruited, as well as a many who have helped with the recruiting.
Video

Video A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensions

When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.

VOA Blogs