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Iran Nuclear Conflicts, News & updates

Discussion in 'International Politics' started by Hembo, Sep 28, 2011.

  1. Marqueur

    Marqueur Peaceful Silence ELITE MEMBER

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    Kerry, Russian FM join Iran nuclear talks

    GENEVA: US Secretary of State John Kerry and foreign ministers of other major powers were converging Saturday to lend their weight to the Iran nuclear talks after envoys reported progress in marathon negotiations to curb the Iranian program in return for limited sanctions relief.

    After a third day of talks, State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki said late Friday that Kerry was heading to Geneva to "help narrow the differences" - just hours after Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov arrived.

    French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius was the first to arrive Saturday, his plane landing before dawn as the talks neared a final, pivotal stage, telling reporters: "On the Iranian nuclear issue, I want a deal - but a solid deal - and I am here to work toward that end."

    British Foreign Secretary William Hague announced he would also travel to Geneva. The announcements followed a day in which diplomats appeared more and more optimistic that a deal could be struck.

    As talks adjourned, a diplomat said Iranian Foreign Minister and top European Union diplomat Catherine Ashton had made progress on a key sticking point - Iran's claim to a right to produce nuclear fuel through uranium enrichment.

    Iran's official IRNA news agency quoted Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi in Geneva as saying that Iran's right to uranium enrichment must be part of any deal.

    Enrichment is a hot-button issue because it can be used both to make reactor fuel and to arm nuclear missiles. Iran argues it is enriching only for power, and scientific and medical purposes. And it says it has no interest in nuclear arms.

    But Washington and its allies point to Tehran's earlier efforts to hide enrichment and allege it worked on developing such weapons.

    Iran has insisted on that right throughout almost a decade of mostly fruitless nuclear negotiations. But Zarif last weekend indicated that Iran is ready to sign a deal that does not expressly state that claim, raising hopes that a deal could be sealed at the current Geneva round.

    For the U.S. and Iran, the talks represent more than trying to hammer out a nuclear deal. In style and substance they are an extension of the historic dialogue opened during September's annual U.N. gathering, which included a 15-minute phone conversation between President Barack Obama and Iran's new president, Hassan Rouhani.

    The nuclear negotiations have included intensive one-on-one sessions between U.S. and Iranian envoys, offering opportunities to widen contacts and begin the long process of reconciliation after more than three decades of estrangement. For Iran, it also gives Rouhani's government a chance to show skeptical hard-liners that dialogue is possible with Washington without putting the country's Islamic system in peril.

    Iranian hard-liners are suspicious of talk of nuclear compromise since Rouhani took office in September, fearing his team will give too much at the negotiating table and not get enough in terms of sanctions relief.

    On Wednesday, Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said his country would never compromise on "red lines." Since then Tehran has publicly reverted to its original stance - that the six powers must recognize uranium enrichment as Iran's right, despite strong opposition by Israel and within the U.S. Congress.

    Still, comments from Iranian officials in Geneva indicated that reverting to tough talk on enrichment may be at least partially meant for home consumption.

    In Geneva, a senior Iranian negotiator said the Iranian claim to the right to enrich did not need to be explicitly recognized in any initial deal, despite Khamenei's comment, adding that the supreme leader was not planning to intervene in the talks. He did suggest, however, that language on that point remained difficult and that there were other differences.

    Work is proceeding on a compromise along the lines of what the Iranian negotiator said - avoiding a direct reference to any country's right to enrich but still giving enough leeway for Iran to accept it, said a diplomat involved in the talks.

    Both he and the Iranian envoy demanded anonymity because they were not allowed to discuss the confidential talks and neither offered details.

    Senior Iranian analyst Trita Parsi, citing conversations with Iranian and U.S. officials, said the draft includes a reference to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, which Iran claims is the guarantor of each country's right to enrich by granting signatories the right to pursue nuclear power for peaceful uses.

    That argument is rejected by the United States and its allies, which say the treaty does not directly mention such a right.

    Parsi said Tehran wants the wording to make clear that Iran is not a "permanent outcast," but has the same rights and responsibilities as all other signatories to the treaty.

    Russia and China in recent years have signaled acceptance of Iran's demand that its right to enrich for peaceful purposes be recognized, and Germany supports the right of any country to that activity as long as it is peaceful. But the other three nations at the table with Iran - the United States, Britain and France - have continued to balk.

    The last round of talks between Iran and the six world powers ended Nov. 10 with no deal, even after Kerry, Lavrov, the foreign ministers of Britain, France and Germany and a Chinese deputy foreign minister flew in and attempted to bridge differences.

    The United States and its negotiating partners have signaled they are ready to ease some sanctions in return for a first-step deal that starts to put limits on Iran's nuclear program.

    They want Iran to stop enriching to a level higher than its main stockpile and only a technical step away from weapons-grade uranium as part of such a deal. They also seek limits on overall enrichment, and a formulation that reduces the proliferation danger from a reactor Iran is building that will produce enough plutonium for up to two weapons once completed.

    But they insist that the most severe penalties - on Tehran's oil exports and banking sector - will remain until the two sides reach a comprehensive agreement to minimize Iran's nuclear arms-making capacity.

    No details on relief offered have been made public. And the U.S. administration has not commented on reports from congressional officials that Obama's team estimates Iran could get $6 billion to $10 billion in benefits over six months for rolling back its nuclear program.

    Several U.S. senators - both Democrat and Republican - have voiced displeasure with the parameters of the potential agreement, arguing that the U.S. and its partners are offering too much for something short of a full freeze on uranium enrichment.

    http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/...n-Iran-nuclear-talks/articleshow/26249510.cms

    how can a FM help in nuclear talks ...
     
  2. Marqueur

    Marqueur Peaceful Silence ELITE MEMBER

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    Iran nuclear talks: Hague bids to close 'narrow gaps'

    The UK's foreign secretary has said "narrow gaps" remain between Iran and the six world powers meeting in Geneva to discuss Tehran's nuclear programme.

    William Hague called for any deal to be thorough, after he arrived to negotiate alongside counterparts from the US, Russia, France, China and Germany.

    The ministers hope to persuade Iran to stop enriching uranium in return for a loosening of sanctions.

    But Iran insists it must be allowed to enrich uranium for power stations.

    Tehran denies repeated claims by Western governments that it is seeking to develop nuclear weapons.

    Some US politicians say they will push for more sanctions if the talks fail.
    'Complicated and tough'

    Negotiators have been working since Wednesday to try to find an agreement that is acceptable to both sides.

    The talks had been scheduled to finish on Friday but were extended and foreign ministers joined on Saturday, amid hopes of a breakthrough.

    US officials said Secretary of State John Kerry, who arrived in Geneva early on Saturday, had the goal of "continuing to help narrow the differences and move closer to an agreement".

    Mr Kerry's participation in itself does not prove a deal is at hand, but it does show that the talks may have reached a critical stage, says the BBC's James Reynolds in Geneva.

    The other ministers from the so-called P5+1 group of nations were also arriving on Saturday.

    Mr Hague said that a deal would be done only if it was a "truly worthwhile agreement".

    "There are narrow but important gaps, and it's very important that any agreement is thorough, detailed and it's an agreement in which the whole world can have confidence," he said.

    EU foreign policy chief Baroness Catherine Ashton is leading the conference.

    On Friday she briefly met Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif for a conversation that Iran's official Irna news agency described as "complicated and tough".
    'Vigorous inspections'

    The Geneva meeting follows a previous round of talks earlier this month.

    On that occasion, too, foreign ministers flew to Geneva to conclude the negotiations, but they went home empty-handed.

    Analysts say a major sticking point is Iran's insistence on its right to enrich uranium - a process that yields material used to manufacture fuel for power stations, but can also be used in weapons.

    Western diplomats are also concerned about a reactor Iran is building at Arak - an issue which disrupted the first round of talks.

    US President Barack Obama has said any interim agreement would see the bulk of international and US sanctions remain, but that Iran would get sanctions relief worth between $6bn and $7bn.

    The essence of the deal would involve Iran making no more advances in its nuclear programme and agreeing to "more vigorous inspections", he said.

    Regional powers - notably Israel and Saudi Arabia - have been increasingly concerned at the prospect of an agreement with Iran.

    Saudia Arabia has expressed disquiet at Washington's readiness to negotiate with Tehran.

    "Appeasement hasn't worked in the past, and I don't think it will work in the 21st Century," the Saudi Ambassador to London, Prince Mohammed bin Nawaf bin Abdulaziz, said in an interview with Saturday's Times.

    There have been persistent reports that Saudi Arabia is in a position to obtain nuclear weapons from Pakistan should Iran develop the bomb.

    Pakistan has described such reports as "baseless" while Saudi Arabia points out that it is a signatory to the Non-Proliferation Treaty and wants a nuclear-free Middle East.

    However, Prince Mohammed told the Times: "We are not going to sit idly by and receive a threat there and not think seriously how we can best defend our country and our region."

    BBC News - Iran nuclear talks: Hague bids to close 'narrow gaps'
     
  3. Marqueur

    Marqueur Peaceful Silence ELITE MEMBER

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    Hard bargaining in Geneva on Iran nuclear deal

    U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and five foreign Ministers joined the Iran nuclear talks on Saturday, cautioning that there were no guarantees their participation would be enough to seal a deal to curb Tehran’s atomic program.

    The goal is a six-month agreement to freeze Iran’s nuclear program while offering Iran incentives through limited sanctions relief. If the interim deal holds, the parties would negotiate final stage deals to ensure Iran does not build nuclear weapons.

    But it was unclear whether the current round, which began on Wednesday, would produce any first-stage deal.

    Britain’s Foreign Secretary William Hague spoke of “very difficult negotiations,” saying “narrow gaps” remain on the same issues that blocked agreement at the last round earlier this month.

    “We’re not here because things are necessarily finished,” Hague told reporters. “We’re here because they’re difficult, and they remain difficult.”

    Kerry and his counterparts from Russia, Britain, France, China and Germany headed for Geneva after diplomats said Friday that Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and top European Union diplomat Catherine Ashton had made progress on a key sticking point Iran’s claim to a right to produce nuclear fuel through uranium enrichment.

    Details were not released but it appeared the two sides were trying to reconcile Iran’s insistence that it has a right to enrich for peaceful purposes while assuaging fears that Tehran was secretly trying to build a bomb, a charge the Iranians deny.

    As the talks entered an intensive phase, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said the negotiations had reached “the final moment,” according to China’s Xinhua news agency.

    Others were less upbeat.

    Germany’s Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle spoke of “a realistic chance” for a deal “but there is still a lot of work to do.” Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov told RIA—Novosti news agency that negotiations were very close to a breakthrough but “unfortunately I cannot say that there is assurance of achieving this breakthrough.”

    French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius told reporters he wanted “a deal but a solid deal and I am here to work toward that end.”

    France’s concern that the negotiators were rushing into a flawed deal with Iran helped delay an agreement during a session nearly two weeks ago.

    Other obstacles include Iran’s plutonium reactor under construction in Arak as well as a formula for providing limited sanctions relief without weakening international leverage against Iran.

    Zarif appeared to allude to the toughening of demands after France’s intervention. Iran’s Mehr news agency quoted him as saying that back then, “the two sides had agreement on issues but now it has reached a stage that there are various viewpoints and it is somehow difficult.”

    Enrichment is a hot—button issue because it can be used both to make reactor fuel and to make nuclear weapons. Iran argues it is enriching only for power, and scientific and medical purposes, and says it has no interest in nuclear arms.

    Washington and its allies point to Tehran’s earlier efforts to hide enrichment and allege it worked on developing such weapons.

    Iran has insisted on that right throughout almost a decade of mostly fruitless negotiations. But Zarif last weekend indicated that Iran is ready to sign a deal that does not expressly state that claim.

    Iranian hard—liners are suspicious of talk of nuclear compromise since moderate President Hassan Rouhani took office in September, fearing his team will give not get enough in terms of sanctions relief over the six—months of any first—stage agreement.

    Several U.S. senators, both Democrat and Republican, have voiced displeasure with the parameters of the potential agreement, arguing that the U.S. and its partners are offering too much for something short of a full freeze on uranium enrichment.

    On Wednesday, Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said his country would never compromise on “red lines.” Since then, Tehran has publicly reverted to its original stance that the six powers must recognise uranium enrichment as Iran’s right, despite strong opposition by Israel and within the U.S. Congress.

    Still, comments from Iranian officials in Geneva indicated that reverting to tough talk on enrichment may be at least partially meant for home consumption.

    In Geneva, a senior Iranian negotiator said the Iranian claim to the right to enrich did not need to be explicitly recognized in any initial deal, despite Khamenei’s comment, adding that the supreme leader was not planning to intervene in the talks. He did suggest, however, that language on that point remained difficult and that there were other differences.

    The negotiator demanded anonymity because he was not allowed to discuss the confidential talks.

    Hard bargaining in Geneva on Iran nuclear deal - The Hindu
     
  4. brahmos_ii

    brahmos_ii Major SENIOR MEMBER

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    Tehran will seek to enter a definitive agreement with the six world powers on its nuclear programme as soon as possible, announced Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on Monday at a meeting with the members of the Iranian Atomic Energy Organization (AEOI).

    According to Zarif, during the Geneva talks, the Iranian side, "sought to ensure trust, that Iran does not aim to make nuclear weapons." So, he said, "it is surprising to see the fierce reaction of Israel on the success of Iranian diplomacy."

    The question of mutual trust was also raised by the head of the AEOI, Ali Akbar Salehi. He warned that Iran will also closely monitor the West for steps taken for the implementation of the preliminary agreement obligations, namely, the partial uplifting of sanctions. However, he pointed out that the production of 5% enriched uranium will not be reduced, but rather increased. Though Iran will not enrich uranium to 20%, reminded Salehi as per the conditions of the Interim Agreement.
     
  5. brahmos_ii

    brahmos_ii Major SENIOR MEMBER

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    The world powers participating in the negotiations are obliged to press the US to honour their agreement with Iran on its nuclear programme.

    A member of the Iranian parliament’s national security and foreign policy committee Hossein Nagavi Hosseini made this statement on Monday. He described the US as state that deserved no trust and pursues a policy of hegemony.

    Under an agreement signed by the six world powers (five permanent members of the UN Security Council and Germany) and Iran on November 24, new sanctions should not be imposed on Iran.

    Nevertheless, on December 12, US Finance Ministry expanded its “black list” including several Iranian companies and businessmen. Iran said the move contradicts the Geneva spirit.
    Read more: World powers should press US to honour agreement with Teheran - News - Society - Russian Radio
     
  6. brahmos_ii

    brahmos_ii Major SENIOR MEMBER

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    Iran may resume 20%-uranium enrichment within a single day if the six world powers fail to honor their commitments under the nuclear agreement signed in Geneva, Iranian Foreign Ministry Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Wednesday.

    0"The structure of our nuclear program is unchanged. We are able to restore 20%-enrichment within 24 hours," he said.

    0Commenting on the Geneva accord, he said that it opened up opportunities for an ultimate and lasting solution to the nuclear standoff between Iran and the West.

    0The minister added that the sanctions and hostile atmosphere created by the West against Iran were falling apart, the minister said.

    0The late November round of the nuclear talks in Geneva between 6 world powers (5 permanent members of the UN Security Council and Germany) and Iran produced a preliminary agreement. Tehran consented to curtail its uranium enrichment program in exchange for a partial lifting of the sanctions.
    Read more: Iran to resume 20%-uranium enrichment within day if West fails to honor Geneva accord ? Iranian FM - News - World - The Voice of Russia: News, Breaking news, Politics, Economics, Business, Russia, International current events, Expert opinion, podcast
     
  7. brahmos_ii

    brahmos_ii Major SENIOR MEMBER

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    Iran: Arak Reactor Cannot Make Plutonium for Bomb

    Iran's Arak heavy water reactor is incapable of producing plutonium for use in a nuclear weapon, a major fear of the West, Tehran's atomic chief said Friday.

    "The Arak research reactor cannot produce plutonium that could be used to make an atomic bomb since the plutonium will remain in the reactor's core for a year," Ali Akbar Salehi told the ISNA news agency.

    "Plutonium destined to make a weapon cannot stay there for more than three or four weeks or it will contain other elements preventing its use" for military means, he said.

    "Anyway, Iran does not have a reprocessing plant" to purify plutonium for such use, Salehi insisted.

    Under a landmark deal struck on November 24, Iran agreed to roll back or freeze parts of its controversial nuclear drive for six months in exchange for modest sanctions relief and a promise by Western powers not to impose new sanctions.

    The Arak site is of concern to the West because Tehran could theoretically extract weapons-grade plutonium from its spent fuel if it also builds a reprocessing facility.

    Iran agreed not to build such a facility as part of last month's nuclear deal. It also committed not to make further advances at its Arak, Fordo and Natanz facilities.

    "When International Atomic Energy Agency cameras are installed and constantly monitoring the reactor and inspectors can visit, there will no longer be cause for concern," Salehi said.

    Salehi has said dismantling the Arak reactor or giving up uranium enrichment is "a red line which we will never cross."

    Western powers and Israel suspect Iran's nuclear activities mask military objectives, despite Tehran's repeated insistence that they are entirely peaceful.
    Iran: Arak Reactor Cannot Make Plutonium for Bomb ? Naharnet
     
  8. brahmos_ii

    brahmos_ii Major SENIOR MEMBER

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    @Mods, can you please move this to Middle East session.
     
  9. brahmos_ii

    brahmos_ii Major SENIOR MEMBER

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    Turkey Fears Acid Rain From Daesh-Torched Sulfur Plant in Iraq

    After Daesh fighters set a sulfur plant near Mosul on fire, meteorologists fear downpours of acid rain in southeastern Turkey, Turkish media reported.

    Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Veysi Kaynak said that meteorologists and emergency situatuions experts were considering the possibility of the toxic cloud spreading into the country’s southeastern Hakkari Province. A fire set by Daesh terrorists at the plant also sent toxic fumes across the area with the wind rapidly carrying the toxic smoke to other parts of the country as well as toward Turkey.

    According to NASA reports, the toxic smoke has caused severe respiratory problems in many people in the surrounding area, forcing them to immediately search for medical help.

    Nearly 1,000 people have been admitted to the nearby Qayyarah central hospital since Friday morning, media reports said. More than 800 Iraqis have been forced to flee from the toxic smoke clouds to remote areas. However, the toxic clouds didn't just affect residents of nearby villages, but also reached US forces at the Qayyarah military base to the south of Mosul and forced troops to wear gas masks. The terrorists are said to have set the sulfur plant on fire to slow the advance of the anti-Daesh coalition.

    According to reports of the military, the smoke had a negative impact on scheduled military operations in the area, where Iraqi forces are involved in a major offensive to liberate Mosul from Daesh fighters.

    Meanwhile, Turkish meteorologists said that the risk of acid rain was down to a minimum now that the wind blowing from Mosul toward Turkish territory had changed direction.

    Read more: https://sputniknews.com/middleeast/201610301046894358-turkey-toxic-cloud/
     

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