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

Brutality Eroding IS Financial Support

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper says IS's penchant for publicizing beheadings, other brutal forms of punishment hurts group’s bottom line More

Studies: Climate Change a Factor in Disasters in Syria, California

The studies point to the possibility of clear and present dangers from a threat often considered to be far in the future More

Video Afghan Refugees Complain of Harassment in Pakistan

Afghan officials and human rights organizations assert that Pakistani authorities are using deadly attack at school in Peshawar as pretext to push out Afghan refugees 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.
Kerry Seeks Assurances of Russian Non-Interference in Ukrainei
X
March 03, 2015 3:11 AM
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has told his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, that his country could face further consequences to what he called its “already strained economy” if Moscow does not fully comply with a cease-fire in Ukraine. The two met, on Monday, on the sidelines of a U.N. Human Rights Council meeting in Geneva, where Kerry outlined human rights violations in Russian-annexed Crimea and eastern Ukraine. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports from Geneva.
Video

Video Kerry Seeks Assurances of Russian Non-Interference in Ukraine

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has told his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, that his country could face further consequences to what he called its “already strained economy” if Moscow does not fully comply with a cease-fire in Ukraine. The two met, on Monday, on the sidelines of a U.N. Human Rights Council meeting in Geneva, where Kerry outlined human rights violations in Russian-annexed Crimea and eastern Ukraine. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports from Geneva.
Video

Video Smartphones May Help in Diagnosing HIV

Diagnosing infections such as HIV requires expensive clinical tests, making the procedure too costly for many poor patients or those living in remote areas. But a new technology called lab-on-a-chip may make the tests more accessible to many. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Refugees Complain of Harassment in Pakistan

Afghan officials have expressed concern over reports of a crackdown on Afghan refugees in Pakistan following the Peshawar school attack in December. Reports of mass arrests and police harassment coupled with fear of an uncertain future are making life difficult for a population that fled its homeland to escape war. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports from Islamabad.
Video

Video Ukrainian Volunteers Prepare to Defend Mariupol

Despite the ongoing ceasefire in Ukraine, soldiers in the city of Mariupol fear that pro-Russian separatists may be getting ready to attack. The separatists must take or encircle the city if they wish to gain land access to Crimea, which was annexed by Russia early last year. But Ukrainian forces, many of them volunteers, say they are determined to defend it. Patrick Wells reports from Mariupol.
Video

Video Moscow Restaurants Suffer in Bad Economy, Look for Opportunity

As low oil prices and Western sanctions force Russia's economy into recession, thousands of Moscow restaurants are expected to close their doors. Restaurant owners face rents tied to foreign currency, while rising food prices mean Russians are spending less when they dine out. One entrepreneur in Moscow has started a dinner kit delivery service for those who want to cook at home to save money but not skimp on quality. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video US, Cuba Report Progress in Latest Talks to Restore Ties

The United States and Cuba say they have made progress in the second round of talks on restoring diplomatic relations more than 50 years after breaking off ties. Delegations from both sides met in Washington on Friday to work on opening embassies in Havana and Washington and iron out key obstacles to historic change. VOA’s Mary Alice Salinas reports from the State Department.
Video

Video Presidential Hopefuls Battle for Conservative Hearts and Minds

One after another, presumptive Republican presidential contenders auditioned for conservative support this week at the Conservative Political Action Conference held outside Washington. The rhetoric was tough as a large field of potential candidates tried to woo conservative support with red-meat attacks on President Barack Obama and Democrats in Congress. VOA Political Columnist Jim Malone takes a look.
Video

Video NYC's Restaurant Week: An Economic Boom in Fine Dining

New Yorkers take pride in setting world trends — in fashion, the arts and fine dining. The city’s famous biannual Restaurant Week plays a significant role in a booming tourism industry that sustains 359,000 jobs and generates $61 billion in yearly revenue. VOA's Ramon Taylor reports.
Video

Video Brookhaven at Cutting Edge of US Energy Research

Issues like the Keystone XL pipeline, fracking and instability in the Middle East are driving debate in the U.S. about making America energy independent. Recently, the American Energy Innovation Council urged Congress and the White House to make expanded energy research a priority. One beneficiary of increased energy spending would be the Brookhaven National Lab, where clean, renewable, efficient energy is the goal. VOA's Bernard Shusman reports.
Video

Video Southern US Cities Preserve Civil Rights Heritage to Boost Tourism

There has been a surge of interest in the American civil rights movement of the 1950s and '60s, thanks in part to the Hollywood motion picture "Selma." Five decades later, communities in the South are embracing the dark chapters of their past with hopes of luring tourism dollars. VOA's Chris Simkins reports.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More