US and Iran, Face-to-Face for the First Time in 30 Years
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In Geneva tomorrow, the United States will sit down for direct negotiations with Iran for the first time in three decades. The US, France, Britain, China, Russia and Germany will push for greater transparency on Iran's nuclear program, and threaten sanctions if President Ahmadinejad refuses to cooperate. What can the West hope to achieve at the talks? Will Russia and China agree to stepping up the pressure on Iran? Also, an update on the earthquakes and tsunami that have devastated Samoa, and the President turns lobbyist. Barack Obama himself will make a last-minute pitch for Chicago to host the 2016 Summer Olympics. Sara Terry guest hosts this rebroadcast of today's To the Point.
Banner image: Iran's Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki speaks during a United Nations Security Council meeting on broader sanctions against Iran on March 24, 2007 at the United Nations in New York. Photo: Don Emmert/AFP/Getty Images
Earthquake and Tsunamis Strike Samoa ()
At least 99 people reportedly have been killed in a massive tsunami, triggered by a powerful earthquake yesterday near the Samoan islands in the Pacific. Waves 15 to 20 feet high destroyed structures along the coastline of the capital city, Pago Pago. Betty Ah Soon is Public Information Officer for the American Samoa Office of Homeland Security.
- Betty Ah Soon: Public Information Officer, American Samoa Department of Homeland Security
US and Iran, Face-to-Face for the First Time in 30 Years ()
A historic meeting will open tomorrow in Geneva, Switzerland, when the permanent members of the UN Security Council – the US, France, Britain, China and Russia -- plus Germany, sit down for talks with Iran about its nuclear program. The meeting marks the first time the United States and Iran have engaged in direct negotiations in thirty years. But Iran has said it wants to discuss trade, not nuclear power. With recent revelations about a second Iranian nuclear facility, and missile test firings in recent days, what signals is Iran sending? Will the US push for tougher sanctions against the regime? What can diplomatic efforts yield if Iran refuses to make concessions? Is a military strike by Israel a possibility?
- Paul Brannan: Senior Research Analyst, Institute for Science and International Security
- Hooman Majd: journalist and author, @hmajd
- Gerald Steinberg: Professor of Political Studies, Bar Ilan University, @GeraldNGOM
- Juan Cole: Professor of Modern Middle Eastern History, University of Michigan, @jricole
The First Couple and the 2016 Olympic Games ()
Michelle Obama is in Copenhagen, Denmark today. On Friday, she'll be joined by her husband, Barack Obama. With just days to go before the International Olympic Committee makes its decision, the presidential pair will be lobbying the IOC for their hometown of Chicago to win out over contenders Rio de Janeiro, Madrid and Tokyo. Alan Abrahamson reports for NBC Olympics and Universal Sports.com.
Which Way L.A.? is made possible in part by the Ralph M. Parsons Foundation, the Nathan Cummings Foundation, and the John Randolph Haynes and Dora Haynes Foundation, which supports study and research into policy issues of the Los Angeles region.
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