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

Katrina Brought Enduring Changes to New Orleans

The city’s recovery is the result of the people and culture the city is famous for, as well as newcomers and start-up industries More

China to Open Stock Markets to Pension Funds

In unprecedented move, government to soon allow local pension funds to invest up to $94 billion in domestic shares More

Magical Photo Slides Show Native Americans in Late 1800s

Walter McClintock spent 20 years photographing the Blackfoot Indians and their vanishing culture at the dawn of the modern age 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.
Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalatesi
X
August 27, 2015 2:08 AM
Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Is China's Economic Data Accurate?

Some investors say China's wild stock market gyrations have been made worse by worries about the reliability of that nation's economic data. And some critics say the reports can mislead investors by painting an unrealistically-strong picture of the economy. A key China scholar says Beijing is not fudging ((manipulating)) the numbers, but that the economy is evolving quickly from smoke-stack industries to services, and the ways of tracking new economic activity are falling behind the change. V
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Shipping Containers Provide Experimental Housing

Housing prices around the San Francisco Bay area are out of reach for many people, so some young entrepreneurs, artists and tech industry workers are creating their own houses using converted shipping containers. But as VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Oakland, the effort requires ingenuity and dealing with restrictive local laws.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video Technique May Eliminate Drill-and-Fill Dental Care

Many people dread visiting dentists because they're afraid of drills. Now, however, a technology developed by a British firm promises to eliminate the need for mechanical cleaning of dental cavities by speeding a natural process of tooth repair. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.
Video

Video French Experiment in Integrating Roma Under Threat

Plans to destroy France’s oldest slum have sparked an outcry on the part of its Roma residents. As Lisa Bryant reports from the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, rights groups argue the community is a fledgling experiment on integrating Roma who are often outcasts in many parts of Europe.
Video

Video Kenyans Turn to Agriculture for Business

Each year Kenyan universities continue to churn out graduates for the job market despite the already existing high rate of unemployment among youth in the country. Some of these young men and women have realized that agriculture can be as rewarding as any other business or job, and they are resorting to agribusiness in large numbers as a way of tackling unemployment. Rael Ombuor reports for VOA.
Video

Video First Women Graduate Elite Army Ranger School

Two women are making history for the U.S. Army by proving they are among the toughest of the tough. VOA's Carla Babb reports from Fort Benning, Georgia as 94 men and those two women rise as graduates of the difficult Ranger school.

VOA Blogs