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U.S. demands ‘actions’ from Iran in nuclear talks

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WASHINGTON — The United States Wednesday rebuffed an Iranian warning that new nuclear talks would fail if they were used to exert pressure, demanding assurances Tehran was not building an atomic bomb.

“We will demand that Iran live up to its international obligations — that it provide verifiable assurances it is not pursuing a nuclear weapon,” White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters aboard Air Force One.

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The warning came after Iranian parliamentary speaker Ali Larijani warned that the talks offered by the United States, Russia, China, France, Britain and Germany would fail if they were used to “pressure” Tehran.

Carney said the United States was “clear-eyed” about its approach, given that Tehran declined to discuss its nuclear program in previous rounds of talks.

“We will not relent in our efforts through sanctions and other measures to isolate and pressure Iran,” he said.

“Actions are what matter here, and we will judge Iran by its actions.”

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On Tuesday, European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, who represents the world powers, said she hoped for real progress in the talks at a time and place yet to be announced.

President Barack Obama meanwhile said he expected it would “quickly” become clear if Iran was serious about easing concerns about its nuclear intentions in the talks.

In a February 14 letter to Ashton, Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili said Tehran was ready to resume the deadlocked negotiations at the “earliest” opportunity as long as the world powers respected its right to peaceful atomic energy.

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At the last talks between the two sides held in Istanbul in January 2011, Iran refused to address questions on its nuclear program, laying down what diplomatic sources said were “pre-conditions” such as a lifting of sanctions.

The prospects of new talks come at a time of heightened tension between Iran and its regional arch-rival Israel, and as Tehran struggles under a punishing new range of US and European Union sanctions.

Western powers and Israel suspect Iran is seeking to build a nuclear bomb under the guise of a civilian atomic program, a charge consistently denied by Tehran, which says its nuclear drive is aimed for peaceful purposes.

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Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.



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GOP lawmaker cut the mic on black woman’s facts — but let white men spew ‘lunacy and lies’: report

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The Republican chair of a Tennessee legislative committee is under fire for cutting off the microphone while a woman of color was speaking -- but allowing white men to spew "lunacy."

"It took all of five minutes for Sen. Mike Bell, chairman of the Tennessee General Assembly’s Judiciary Committee, to prove Cherisse Scott’s point. Scott is founder and CEO of Sister Reach, a Memphis organization that fights for reproductive freedom and health for rural women and girls of color struggling with poverty," Memphis Commercial Appeal columnist Tonyaa Weathersbee explained.

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Here’s why Jeffrey Epstein surrounded himself with scientists

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The list of confidants and friends who were fêted by the late financier and alleged sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein included a number of prominent scientists. Among the eye-popping names that appeared on the list: the late cosmologist Stephen Hawking, Nobel-winning physicist Murray Gell-Mann, evolutionary biologist Stephen Jay Gould, physicist Frank Wilczek, neurologist Oliver Sacks, and geneticist George M. Church.

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Trump just humiliated his own son with an absurd tweet about Greenland

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President Donald Trump confirmed multiple reports this weekend when he said that he does, indeed, hope to buy Greenland and make it part of the United States.

Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen has said that the country, which is part of the Kingdom of Denmark, is “not for sale”: “Greenland belongs to Greenland.” Which should be the end of the story. Unfortunately, it’s not.

On Monday, Trump sent the following tweet, apparently trying to quell suspicions that the president just regards Greenland as another place to expand his business empire:

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