News / Middle East

    World Powers Gather in Turkey for Iran Nuclear Talks

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, left, and his Turkish counterpart Ahmet Davutoglu pose for cameras after a news conference in Istanbul, Turkey, 20 Jan 2011
    Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, left, and his Turkish counterpart Ahmet Davutoglu pose for cameras after a news conference in Istanbul, Turkey, 20 Jan 2011

    The Turkish city of Istanbul will host the second round of talks between Iran and the so-called P5-+1 countries to discuss its controversial  nuclear energy program.  The Turkish hosts will be looking to play some role in the two days of talks that begin Friday.

    Turkish diplomats led by Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu have been working hard toward the success of the talks between Iran and the U.N. Security Council Permanent Members - Russia, the United Kingdom, the United States, China, and France - plus Germany.  

    The talks center on Iran's controversial nuclear energy program that is suspected of being used to make weapons.  Last week after talks with EU foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton, Davutoglu stressed Turkey is ready to do what it can.

    He says one of the conditions of being a good host is to provide the best ground for each side to carry out the negotiations in the most psychologically peaceful setting. "If we are asked to help by both sides for the negotiations we are ready to do so, but our role is to be host here, and to do it in the most comprehensive way," he said.

    Turkey, which is a NATO member and an EU applicant, has close relations with its neighbor, Iran.  Davutoglu has worked to position Turkey as a key mediator between Iran and the West.  Those efforts culminated last year in a deal Turkey and Brazil reached with Tehran for it to ship some of its uranium abroad for reprocessing.  

    But when the deal was rejected by the international community, Turkey voted against new U.N. Iranian sanctions.  That vote, according to political scientist Soli Ozel, means for now Turkey has lost its role as mediator.

    "We downgraded ourselves from mediator to facilitator after the U.N .vote, but I am sure we [Turkey] are just dying to get to the mediator position again.  But at the end of the day the second meeting is going to take place in Istanbul," he said.

    The Turkish government has been trying to rebuild its credibility with its Western allies, according to diplomatic correspondent Semih Idiz.

    "The Turkish side is playing it more cautiously.  Turkey declined to send its ambassador on the inspection tour of the nuclear sites, that Tehran had organized.  The Iranians had extended an invitation to a number of countries, and Turkey declined that, not wanting ... to appear to be too pro-Iranian and therefore stay in the middle ground.  I think we are seeing this happening now," Idiz said.

    Few analysts are expecting any major breakthrough in the talks, many say the continuation of the talks after Istanbul will be considered an achievement.  After meeting Thursday with Davutoglu, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov warned the United States against undermining the talks with threats of further sanctions against Iran.

    Idiz says in such an expected challenging atmosphere, Turkey can still play a role as a pacifier.

    "We will be, properly, be more of [a] role in terms of trying to convince Iran to be more compliant and be more forthcoming with the international community.  So it [Turkey] can play this back-channel role of trying to moderate the more defiant moods and atmosphere, and statements coming out of Tehran so it can have a pacifying role in that respect,"  Idiz said.

    Analysts say if Turkey can play such a role it will not only help the talks to continue, but also answer many critics in the West who have until now questioned whether Ankara has any real influence over Tehran.

    You May Like

    Multimedia US Observes Memorial Day With Wreath-laying, National Concert

    Obama lays a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington Cemetery

    The Strife of the Party: Will Trump Permanently Alter Republicans?

    While billionaire mogul's no-holds-barred style, high-energy delivery are what rocketed him to nomination, they also have created rift between party elites and his supporters

    China's Education Reforms Spark Protest

    Beijing is putting a quota system in place to increase the number of students from poor regions attending universities

    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.
    Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trendi
    X
    May 27, 2016 5:57 AM
    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Drawings by Children in Hiroshima Show Hope and Peace

    On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, the first American president to do so while in office. In August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city to force Japan's surrender in World War II. Although their city lay in ruins, some Hiroshima schoolchildren drew pictures of hope and peace. The former students and their drawings are now part of a documentary called “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.” VOA's Deborah Block has the story.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese Rapper Performs for Obama

    A prominent young Vietnamese artist told President Obama said she faced roadblocks as a woman rapper, and asked the president about government support for the arts. He asked her to rap, and he even offered to provide a base beat for her. Watch what happened.
    Video

    Video Roots Run Deep for Tunisia's Dwindling Jewish Community

    This week, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims are defying terrorist threats to celebrate an ancient religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The festivities cast a spotlight on North Africa's once-vibrant Jewish population that has all but died out in recent decades. Despite rising threats of militant Islam and the country's battered economy, one of the Arab world's last Jewish communities is staying put and nurturing a new generation. VOA’s Lisa Bryant reports.
    Video

    Video Meet Your New Co-Worker: The Robot

    Increasing numbers of robots are joining the workforce, as companies scale back and more processes become automated. The latest robots are flexible and collaborative, built to work alongside humans as opposed to replacing them. VOA’s Tina Trinh looks at the next generation of automated employees helping out their human colleagues.
    Video

    Video Wheelchair Technology in Tune With Times

    Technologies for the disabled, including wheelchair technology, are advancing just as quickly as everything else in the digital age. Two new advances in wheelchairs offer improved control and a more comfortable fit. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Baby Boxes Offer Safe Haven for Unwanted Children

    No one knows exactly how many babies are abandoned worldwide each year. The statistic is a difficult one to determine because it is illegal in most places. Therefore unwanted babies are often hidden and left to die. But as Erika Celeste reports from Woodburn, Indiana, a new program hopes to make surrendering infants safer for everyone.
    Video

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Communities in the U.S. often hold festivals to show what makes them special. In California, for example, farmers near Fresno celebrate their figs and those around Gilmore showcase their garlic. Mike O'Sullivan reports that the wine-producing region of Temecula offers local vintages in an annual festival where rides on hot-air balloons add to the excitement.
    Video

    Video US Elementary School Offers Living Science Lessons

    Zero is not a good score on a test at school. But Discovery Elementary is proud of its “net zero” rating. Net zero describes a building in which the amount of energy provided by on-site renewable sources equals the amount of energy the building uses. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, the innovative features in the building turn the school into a teaching tool, where kids can't help but learn about science and sustainability. Faith Lapidus narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora