IRGC Official Views Suspension of Enrichment as "Out of Question"
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – As Tehran and the world powers wrapped up three days of nuclear negotiations in Geneva, an IRGC official described uranium enrichment as Iran’s red line in the talks, noting that suspension of enrichment activities is nonsense as Iran's nuclear program is peaceful in nature.
“Nuclear suspension is meaningless, and that is the red line for the Islamic Republic in the talks,” Hojjatoleslam Ali Saeedi, the Supreme Leader’s representative in the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC), told Tasnim on Sunday, in Iran’s northeastern city of Mashhad.
“Our principle is (uranium) enrichment for peaceful purposes,” he added.
His comments echoes remarks made by President Rouhani earlier in the day.
Speaking in the Iranian parliament on Sunday morning, the Iranian president said the Islamic Republic has a number of red lines, among which are the nation’s nuclear rights, including uranium enrichment inside the country.
"The rights of the Iranian nation and our national interests are a red line. So are nuclear rights under the framework of international regulations, which include enrichment on Iranian soil," he told the legislators.
Rouhani once again stressed that Iran pursues merely “peaceful nuclear technology for development, not for threatening others.”
Pointing to the negotiations between Tehran and six major world powers in Geneva, President Rouhani said what brings Iran to the talks is its desire to prove that it wants nuclear technology for peaceful purposes only, and not the pressure of sanctions.
“We consider the sanctions as illegal, and regard them as a useless solution, and we have not sat at the negotiating table due to the pressure of sanctions,” President Rouhani stated.
Top negotiators from Iran and the Group 5+1 (also known as P5+1, the five permanent UN Security Council members plus Germany) wrapped up three days of intensive talks over Tehran’s peaceful nuclear program in the Swiss city of Geneva early on Sunday.
The sides could not strike a deal on Iran's nuclear program, though they described the talks as useful and constructive.