Iran Enters New Round of Nuclear Talks With U.S., World Powers

, , , , , , , ,


European foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, left, and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohamad Javad Zarif, right, wait for the start of closed-door nuclear talks in Vienna, Austria on April 8. Ashton is the lead negotiator representing the six nations in talks with Iran.

Iran entered a third round of nuclear talks with world powers on Tuesday that will run from April 8 to 9 in Vienna, Austria, but whether the nations will soon be able to start hammering out a final agreement regarding the future of Iran’s nuclear program is unclear.

Officials from the United States and Iran were both optimistic that the nations would be able to start work on a final contract by mid-May, according to Reuters. The two sides hope this will be the last discussion regarding what the contract should include and that future talks will be about agreeing to it. Russian officials, however, reportedly said the talks are very much in initial stages.

Representatives from the United States, Russia, Germany, France, China, the United Kingdom and Iran have been discussing the future of Iran’s nuclear program since mid-February of 2014.

The talks surround the future of Iran’s nuclear program, which officials there say is meant only as a means to produce electricity. Many other nations fear Iran is working to produce a nuclear weapon, especially longtime U.S. ally Israel, which sees Iran as a threat and has threatened to strike its nuclear facilities if talks break down. Experts at the Center for Strategic and International Studies believe Iran is already capable of striking anywhere in Israel with its arsenal of missiles, so Iran’s possession of a nuclear bomb would be perceived as a terminal threat.

Below, a video provided to Mashable produced by the CSIS and put together based on research gathered by narrator and Iran military expert Anthony Cordesman, demonstrates the reach of Iran’s missiles and some of the concerns Israel has about its rival’s military capabilities.

Iran has come to the negotiating table to try to end sanctions that have deeply damaged its economy. The six nations seek to convince Iran to roll back its nuclear capabilities so it cannot quickly produce an atomic bomb. In November, 2013, the two sides reached an interim deal in which sanctions would be eased for a six-month discussion period that would hopefully lead to a broader agreement. That period began in January, and the two sides have until July 20 until the talks end and sanctions are re-imposed.

Despite the optimism from some American and Iranian officials, Iran has not indicated it is willing to stop enriching uranium, according to Reuters, a key step in the creation of a nuclear bomb.

The talks also do not include the Israeli government, which has taken a hardline stance against Iran’s uranium enrichment. It has also been suggested that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu does not want the talks to end in an agreement, because an Iran with any nuclear capacity is an existential threat to Israel.

“The U.S. is really trying to bring these opposing sides closer together,” Sharon Squassoni, director of the proliferation prevention program at CSIS, told Mashable. “Israel is asking for a lot and there’s going to have to be compromise on both sides. So you won’t get, for example, Iran to forego a civilian nuclear program. It’s just not going to happen.”

If there’s going to be a deal, Squassoni said Iran must “walk back” its nuclear program. But, she said, it will be difficult for nations to side with Israel in the future if it is viewed as the cause for a breakdown in talks.

Read more:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.