- George Zimmerman will not be charged in domestic dispute
- Russian officials press bilateral U.S. trade deal
- Selfies at Funerals blog creator retires after Obama flub: ‘Our work here is done’
- New Obama adviser Podesta is against Keystone but will steer clear of pipeline deliberations
- 40 Australian adults, children found in ‘one of the worst accounts of incest ever made public’
- Venezuela’s Maduro calls on student ‘price vigilantes’ to hit the streets, report businesses
- Atheists smug as Hindus join Satanists to demand display at Oklahoma Statehouse
- Bow before Valkyrie, NASA’s ‘superhero robot’ entry in DARPA challenge
- 10-year-old Pennsylvania boy suspended for pretend bow-and-arrow shooting
- Budget deal exposes GOP divisions; conservatives slam tax hikes, vague cuts
Iran, 6 powers to meet Friday for nuclear talks
Question of the Day
ALMATY, Kazakhstan (AP) — Iran and the world powers trying to curb Tehran’s nuclear progress are coming to the negotiating table this week with the window shrinking on diplomacy. The Islamic republic is moving closer to the ability to make atomic arms, and that risks the threat of Mideast conflict.
Israel says the Islamic Republic is only a few months away from the threshold of having material to turn into a bomb and has vowed to use all means to prevent it from reaching it. The United States has not said what its “red line” is but has said it will not tolerate an Iran armed with nuclear weapons.
Any strike on Iran would provoke fierce retaliation directly from Iran and through its Middle East proxies in Syria, Lebanon and Palestine, raising the specter of a larger Middle East conflict. The stakes are thus clearly high for negotiators of six nations meeting their Iranian counterparts in Almaty on Friday.
In Washington, a senior U.S. administration official urged Tehran to meet demands from the six powers that it scale back on uranium enrichment — a potential path to nuclear weapons — citing President Obama as saying that “all options remain on the table” to prevent Iran from having such arms. The official demanded anonymity as a condition for speaking on the issue.
The six — the United States, Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany — hope the talks will result in at least an incremental advance after a decade of efforts to reduce Iran‘s bomb-making capacities by curbing its uranium enrichment program.
The two sides parted in February after meeting in Almaty with agreement to at least keep talking over a new proposal submitted by the six. But the two sides remain vastly divided on what they want from each other.
Iran wants an end to punishing sanctions crippling its economy imposed to force it end uranium enrichment, a process that can generate both nuclear energy and the core of nuclear weapons. Iran denies any interest in atomic arms, insists its enrichment program serves only peaceful needs, says it has a right to enrich under the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty and describes U.N. Security Council demands to stop Iranian enrichment as illegal.
“We are talking about peaceful nuclear energy,” Saeed Jalili, Iran‘s chief nuclear negotiator, said before the latest talks. He said Iran had a right to such a program and accused “a handful of countries” of working ” to deny this right to others.”
The six have moved from demanding a total end to enrichment. As a first step, they now are asking Tehran only to stop production and stockpiling of uranium enriched to 20 percent, which is just a technical step away from weapons-grade uranium. A halt to production and stockpiling would keep Iran‘s supply below the amount needed for further processing into a weapon.
Starting a few months ago, Tehran began keeping a ceiling on its higher-enriched uranium stockpile below the amount it would need to produce bomb-grade material by turning some into a form unusable for weapons and holding off on activating more enriching centrifuges.
Neither Iran nor the International Atomic Energy Agency, whose experts monitor Iran‘s atomic program, has confirmed that Tehran is continuing to limit its higher-enriched uranium stockpile. But IAEA chief Yukiya Amano told The Associated Press this week he “has no particular indications” to believe otherwise.
While the six are dangling some sanctions relief, they are not offering to lift sanctions on Iranian oil exports and other punitive measures. The offer is not enough for Iran, so at best, the negotiations will end Saturday with an agreement that enough progress was made to talk again later.
By Matt Kibbe
The short-term deal will assure long-term overspending
- Rand Paul: Budget deal 'shameful,' 'huge mistake'
- Teen thugs in D.C. run wild -- even while wearing GPS ankle bracelets
- KIBBE: Another Republican budget surrender
- Study IDs reasons for late-term abortions
- Obama takes 'selfie' at Mandela's funeral service
- Obama administration blasts GOP for criticism of Castro handshake
- CARSON: Why did the founders give us the Second Amendment?
- Obama's antics at Nelson Mandela tribute: Jovial conversation, handshake with Raul Castro
- Biden guarantees victory on immigration reform
- VEGAS RULES: Harry Reid pushed feds to change ruling for casino's big-money foreigners
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Interviews and show reviews from the Los Angeles punk scene past and present. Los Angeles has always been rich in punk rock talent since punk rock was born.
Buzz on Bees is a column promoting the love and life of God’s greatest pollinators on earth: The Honeybee
Brazen, leading-edge, “call it like it is” columns and reporting from Ohio native, radio host and writer, Sara Marie Brenner.
A libertarian look at breaking news and political trends by author Tom Mullen.
Extraordinary day at Redskins Park
White House pets gone wild!
Let it snow