News / Middle East

US Ready for New Talks with Iran on Nuclear Fuel

The Obama administration said Wednesday that it is "interested" in new multilateral talks with Iran next month on a uranium-swap deal that would ease concerns about Tehran's nuclear intentions.  Meanwhile, the U.S. Treasury Department blacklisted dozens of Iranian "front companies" in Europe that are said to be supporting nuclear weapons efforts.  

The State Department says U.S. officials are ready to join in a new round of nuclear confidence building talks with Iran in mid-November, and that Tehran has given "indications" it will take part.

The talks, tentatively set for November 16 and 17 in Vienna, would bring together diplomats from Iran and six major world powers.

They would examine prospects for reviving a proposal offered a year ago, under which Iran would ship much of its enriched uranium stockpile abroad in return for fuel for a Tehran research reactor.

Iran initially accepted the proposal last November by the five permanent U.N. Security Council member countries and Germany - the P5+1 - but later backed away from the initiative.

In May of this year, Iran said it was ready to accept a variant of the swap plan proposed by Turkey and Brazil.

US State Department Spokesman P.J. Crowley
US State Department Spokesman P.J. Crowley

Asked Wednesday about a Wall Street Journal report that the United States is "pushing to revive" the Tehran research reactor, or TRR, talks, State Department Spokesman P.J. Crowley said the idea has merit as a prelude to broader negotiations on Iran's nuclear program.

"We still think the concept has potential value, so we would be interested in continuing to pursue that with Iran, if Iran is interested.  At the same time, regarding the TRR, it's important to note that the proposal would have to be updated, reflecting ongoing enrichment activity by Iran over the ensuing year," said Crowley. "But this is something we potentially look ahead to engaging Iran in, through the so-called Vienna Group [which is made up of the United States, Russia, France and the International Atomic Energy Agency]."

Crowley said European Union chief diplomat Catherine Ashton has proposed the mid-November Vienna meeting and that Iran, while giving some signs of interest, has yet to formally respond.

A senior official here says that if Iran does accept, and return to talks for the first time in a year, the U.S. delegate would be Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs William Burns.

Coinciding with the comments here, the Treasury Department announced a further expansion of U.S. sanctions against Iranian entities and individuals said to be advancing Tehran's weapons of mass destruction efforts.

Treasury officials said 37 alleged Iranian front companies in Germany, Malta and Cyprus, and five Iranian businessmen associated with them, would face a freeze of any U.S. assets they might have and be barred from dealings with American companies.

State Department Spokesman Crowley said the expansion of U.N. and national sanctions is "getting Iran's attention," but that it remains to be seen whether they convince Tehran to act in what he called "its own long-term interest" and return to nuclear negotiations.

Iran says its nuclear program is peaceful.  But Crowley said revelations of secret Iranian nuclear sites near the city of Qom and elsewhere raise doubts about Tehran's intentions.

You May Like

Lebanese Media Unite to Support Palestinians in Gaza

Joint newscast billed as Arab world’s first unified news bulletin in support of Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip More

Photogallery Australian PM Alleges ‘Coverup’ at MH17 Crash Site

Meanwhile, Russia's ambassador to Malaysia denies plane's black boxes were opened before they were handed over to Malaysian officials More

Despite Advances in AIDS Treatment, Stigma Lingers

Leading immunologist tells VOA that stigma is often what prevents those infected with disease from seeking treatment 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.
IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Formi
X
July 22, 2014 10:26 AM
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 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 Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
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.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Chicago’s Argonne Lab Developing Battery of the Future

In 2012, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science awarded a $120 million grant to a new technology center focused on battery development - headquartered at Argonne National Laboratory in suburban Chicago, Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there scientists are making the next technological breakthroughs in energy storage.
Video

Video In NW Pakistan, Army Offensive Causes Massive Number of Displaced

Pakistan’s army offensive in North Waziristan has resulted in the large-scale displacement of the local population. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from northwest Pakistan where authorities say around 80 percent of the estimated 1 million internally displaced persons [IDPs] have settled in Bannu district, while much of the remaining 20 percent are scattered in nearby cities.
Video

Video Kurdish Peshmerga Force Secures Kirkuk, Its Oil

The Kurdistan regional government has sent its Peshmerga troops into the adjacent province of Kirkuk to drive out insurgents, and to secure the area's rich oil fields. By doing this, the regional government has added a fourth province to the three it officially controls. The oil also provides revenue that could make an independent Kurdistan economically strong. VOA’s Jeffrey Young went out with the Peshmerga and filed this report.
Video

Video Malaysia Reeling: Second Air Disaster in Four Months

Malaysia is reeling from the second air disaster in four months involving the country’s flag carrier. Flight 340 vanished in March and despite an extensive search, no debris has been found. And on Thursday, Flight 17, likely hit by a surface-to-air missile, came apart over eastern Ukraine. The two incidents together have left more than 500 people dead. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Kuala Lumpur.

AppleAndroid