Deputy FM: Iran to Continue Uranium Enrichment
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Iran will continue to enrich uranium, but its scale and purity can be the subject of talks, Deputy Foreign Minister for Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Abbas Araqchi said.
“We said in our talks with the Group 5+1 -- that brings together the five permanent member of the UN Security Council plus Germany -- that at first a conceptual framework needs to be devised, and that all sanctions must be lifted which was accepted by the other side in all the talks. We will never accept any precondition that may imply forfeiting our rights," Araqchi said in a TV interview Saturday night.
In response to a question on the contents of the Iranian foreign minister’s New York talks with the G5+1, Araqchi said, “Mr. Zarif emphasized the illegal nature of the sanctions ... but asked them to think of the future from now on.”
He added, “The Russian and Chinese sides announced that they would contribute to the success of this process.”
After the meeting, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif had said that he had "very good and constructive" talks with foreign ministers of the six world powers on Thursday.
In separate remarks after the meeting on Thursday, Catherine Ashton said Iran and the six major world powers held substantial talks at the UN, setting the stage for a new round of negotiations next month to resolve the West’s dispute with Tehran over its nuclear energy program.
In remarks after the meeting, the US Secretary of State John Kerry, too, called the talks as “constructive," saying "We've agreed to try to continue a process that would try to make concrete and find a way to answer the questions that people have about Iran's nuclear program."
Kerry described the meeting as constructive, but said "there's a lot of work to be done" with questions still remaining about Iran's nuclear energy program.
Araqchi further announced thawt substantive talks with Iran on its nuclear program are due to be held in Geneva on October 15-16. Zarif and the European Union foreign policy chief will definitely attend the Geneva talks.
"(US President barack) Obama and some other western countries have accepted our nuclear rights within the framework of the Non-Proliferation Treaty, but have not reiterated that this right includes enrichment. The main axis of negotiations with the G5+1 is for the other side to recognize the right of Iran to enrich uranium, and if this issue is realized the path for negotiations will be opened."
Earlier, Iran's President hassan Rouhani said his country would present a proposal in talks with six major powers scheduled for October 15-16 in Geneva.
"Iran will prepare that plan and will present it in Geneva. We hope it will serve as an even more effective step to settle the nuclear issue," Rouhani said.
The United States and some of its allies have long accused Iran of seeking to build a nuclear weapons capability, an excuse for the UN Security Council, and separately the United States and European Union to impose strict economic sanctions on the country. Iran has denied such allegations, saying it only wants to harness nuclear energy for peaceful purposes and that it is opposed to any nuclear weapons on ethical, religious and practical grounds.