US, Russia Want Clarity on Iran Nuclear Issue
29, 2013. (Credit: AP/Keystone, Peter Klaunzer) Things arent looking particularly promising for the 28 Greenpeace activists and two journalists arrested for boarding a Russian oil rig in the Arctic. But authorities alleged mishandling of the situation is creating its own set of problems for Moscow. According to the Associated Press , several governments now appear ready to add the Greenpeace detentions to their grown log of complaints about Russias treatment of human rights issues under President Vladimir Putin. The announcement , two weeks back, that they would be charged with piracy for their actions, drew scrutiny from many, including the U.S. Department of State, which said that it was monitoring the case very closely. All face jail time of up to 15 years if convicted. The Guardian reported today that some of the jailed activists are being held in solitary confinement for 23 hours a day, according to Kumi Naidoo, Greenpeace Internationals executive director.Naidoo also raised concerns about extremely cold cells and noted that the group had been split up among several prisons. International support for the activists, however, is growing. They now have their own nickname the Arctic 30 and over the weekend, vigils throughout the world were held in their honor. Jude Law, designer Vivienne Westwood, fashion designer Vivienne Westwood, Clash guitarist Paul Simonon and musician Damon Albarnwere among the celebrities spotted at a protests outside the Russian embassy in London. Greenpeace, meanwhile, will continue to work to save the Arctic [and] prevent catastrophic climate change while resisting the inaction on the part of governments who should be taking leadership, said Naidoo. Lindsay Abrams is an assistant editor at Salon, focusing on all things sustainability.
Secretary of State John Kerry (on the sidelines of an economic summit in Indonesia) that Iran likely wants “more clarity” about the way forward. “Iran probably wants more clarity,” Lavrov said. “More specific steps to be spelled out on the road to the result which we all want to achieve. And I think this will be discussed next week in Geneva, a meeting to which Iran agreed. And to which Iran and three plus three are getting ready in a very constructive mood, as our contacts in New York show.” Kerry said the United States is encouraged by Iran’s recent outreach efforts, but that actions, and not words, are what will make a difference. “So what we need are a set of proposals from Iran that fully disclose how they will show the world that their program is peaceful,” Kerry said. “And we have made it clear that if there are those indicators, the United States and our allies are absolutely prepared to move in appropriate ways to meet their actions. Kerry said Iran has not responded to an offer the P5+1 group made earlier this year, which called for Iran to stop enriching uranium to 20 percent and halt enrichment at one of its nuclear facilities. Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif said Sunday that offer was no longer valid, and that the P5+1 should come to next week’s negotiations with a “new point of view.” Iran says its nuclear program is strictly for peaceful purposes and wants the international community to lift a range of sanctions imposed for its refusal to halt enrichment activity. The possible threat of a ballistic missile strike from countries like Iran has led the United States to plan a missile shield in Europe. Russia disagrees with the move, saying the system could neutralize its own strategic missile force and leave it vulnerable to the West. Kerry said Monday it is too early to make determinations about the system as long as the Iranian threat continues.