News / Middle East

    Iran Says US Should Be Willing to Talk Without Conditions

    In this photo released by the Turkish Presidency Press Office, Turkish President Abdullah Gul, right, greets Iran's Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi before a meeting in Ankara, Jan. 18, 2012.
    In this photo released by the Turkish Presidency Press Office, Turkish President Abdullah Gul, right, greets Iran's Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi before a meeting in Ankara, Jan. 18, 2012.

    Iran says the United States should make it clear that it is ready to hold talks without conditions, and urged other countries in the Middle East to not put themselves in a "dangerous position."

    Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi made the comments Thursday during a visit to Turkey.

    They come a day after the United States said it is open to resuming negotiations with Iran about its controversial nuclear program if Tehran is "serious" about discussing it openly.

    State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said Wednesday it is up to Iran to rejoin talks with the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council and Germany, a group known as the P5+1.  The parties last met a year ago.

    An Iranian politician said Wednesday that U.S. President Barack Obama had sent a letter to Iran calling for direct talks. But the Obama administration did not confirm such contact.

    White House spokesman Jay Carney said Wednesday that any communications that have or may have taken place are "the same in private as they have been in public," and that the path forward is through multi-party talks.

    He said increasing pressure on Iran from the United States and "many international allies" is a direct result of Tehran's refusal to engage in "serious discussions" about its nuclear program.

    Iran's Salehi said Wednesday any new negotiations likely would be held in Istanbul.

    The U.S. State Department responded later that there have been no discussions about holding a new round of talks.

    Meanwhile, U.S. Joints Chiefs of Staff Chairman Martin Dempsey is visiting Israel Thursday for talks with Defense Minister Ehud Barak, including U.S. and Israeli concerns that Iran is trying to develop nuclear weapons.  Iran says its nuclear ambitions are peaceful.

    The meeting comes a day after Barak said any decision about a preemptive Israeli attack on Iran's nuclear program is "very far off."

    Israel and its key ally the United States have not ruled out using military force to stop Iran from building a nuclear bomb. But U.S. officials publicly have been urging Israel to avoid unilateral action and give more time for diplomatic pressure and sanctions on Iran to work.

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Wednesday a military strike on Iran would be a "catastrophe" and would inflame tensions between Sunnis and Shi'ites in the region.

    Lavrov also said sanctions imposed on Iran by the United States and European Union appear designed to hurt the Iranian economy rather than achieve the goal of nuclear non-proliferation. Russia has supported several rounds of U.N. Security Council sanctions on Iran in recent years but says it will not approve any more.

    EU foreign ministers are set to finalize a proposed crude oil embargo on Iran to begin July 1 when they meet Monday in Brussels.

    The EU also is likely to ban imports of Iranian petrochemical products and exports of key technology intended for Iran's petrochemical industry. An EU oil embargo would deprive Iran of vital foreign currency income.

    Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.

    Join the conversation on our social journalism site - Middle East Voices. Follow our Middle East reports on Twitter and discuss them on our Facebook page.

    You May Like

    Post-White House, Obamas to Rent Washington Mansion

    Nine-bedroom home is 3 kilometers from Oval Office, near capital's Embassy Row; rent estimated at around $22,000 a month

    Red Planet? Not so much!

    New research suggest that Mars is in a warm period between cyclical ice ages, and that during Ice Age Maximum over 500,000 years ago, the red planet was decidedly ice, and much whiter to the naked eye.

    Taj Mahal Battles New Threat from Insects

    Swarms of insects are proliferating in the heavily contaminated waters of the Yamuna River, which flows behind the 17th century monument

    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.
    Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnami
    X
    Elizabeth Lee
    May 22, 2016 6:04 AM
    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnam

    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video First-generation, Afghan-American Student Sets Sights on Basketball Glory

    Their parents are immigrants to the United States. They are kids who live between two worlds -- their parents' homeland and the U.S. For many of them, they feel most "American" at school. It can be tricky balancing both worlds. In this report, produced by Beth Mendelson, Arash Arabasadi tells us about one Afghan-American student who seems to be coping -- one shot at a time.
    Video

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    While universities across the United States honor their newest graduates this Friday, many immigrants in downtown Manhattan are celebrating, too. One hundred of them, representing 31 countries across four continents, graduated as U.S. citizens, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in New York and cities around the country.
    Video

    Video Vietnam Sees Strong Economic Growth Despite Incomplete Reforms

    Vietnam has transformed its communist economy to become one of the world's fastest-growing nations. While the reforms are incomplete, multinational corporations see a profitable future in Vietnam and have made major investments -- as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
    Video

    Video Qatar Denies World Cup Corruption

    The head of Qatar’s organizing committee for the 2022 World Cup insists his country's bid to host the soccer tournament was completely clean, despite the corruption scandals that have rocked the sport’s governing body, FIFA. Hassan Al-Thawadi also said new laws would offer protection to migrants working on World Cup construction projects. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Infrastructure Funding Puts Cambodia on Front Line of International Politics

    When leaders of the world’s seven most developed economies meet in Japan next week, demands for infrastructure investment world wide will be high on the agenda. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push for “quality infrastructure investment” throughout Asia has been widely viewed as a counter to the rise of Chinese investment flooding into region.
    Video

    Video Democrats Fear Party Unity a Casualty in Clinton-Sanders Battle

    Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton claimed a narrow victory in Tuesday's Kentucky primary even as rival Bernie Sanders won in Oregon. Tensions between the two campaigns are rising, prompting fears that the party will have a difficult time unifying to face the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Portrait of a Transgender Marriage: Husband and Wife Navigate New Roles

    As controversy continues in North Carolina over the use of public bathrooms by transgender individuals, personal struggles with gender identity that were once secret are now coming to light. VOA’s Tina Trinh explored the ramifications for one couple as part of trans.formation, a series of stories on transgender issues.
    Video

    Video Amerikan Hero Flips Stereotype of Middle Eastern Character

    An Iranian American comedian is hoping to connect with American audiences through a film that inverts some of Hollywood's stereotypes about Middle Eastern characters. Sama Dizayee reports.
    Video

    Video Budding Young Inventors Tackle City's Problems with 3-D Printing

    Every city has problems, and local officials and politicians are often frustrated by their inability to solve them. But surprising solutions can come from unexpected places. Students in Baltimore. Maryland, took up the challenge to solve problems they identified in their city, and came up with projects and products to make a difference. VOA's June Soh has more on a digital fabrication competition primarily focused on 3-D design and printing. Carol Pearson narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora