Commander: Insistence on Iran’s Rights, Best Way to Advance Talks

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – A commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) said the best approach for Iran to engage in nuclear talks with the major world powers is to defend the Islamic Republic’s inalienable right to peaceful nuclear energy.

Commander: Insistence on Iran’s Rights, Best Way to Advance Talks

Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of a cultural ceremony here in Tehran on Thursday, General Mohsen Kazemeini said the best approach for Iran in the Geneva talks is to defend its rights, and not to retreat from the country’s aspirations that have been outlined by late founder of the Islamic Republic Imam Khomeini.

“The nuclear energy is our inalienable right, and the adversaries have realized this matter,” the commander added.

His comments echo the remarks made earlier by Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei, who on Wednesday insisted that the Iranian nation’s nuclear rights should be respected in the talks between Tehran and the six major world powers, asking the country's nuclear negotiators to observe the red lines.

Addressing a huge crowd of Basij (volunteer) Force commanders and personnel, the Leader insisted that the Iranian negotiators should not retreat “a single step” from the nation’s rights during the negotiations.

Senior diplomats representing Iran and the Group 5+1 (the five permanent UN Security Council members plus Germany) are in the Swiss city of Geneva for further negotiations over Tehran’s nuclear program.

Earlier this month, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said the Islamic Republic has a number of red lines, among which are the nation’s nuclear rights, including uranium enrichment inside the country.

Iran Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has said Tehran expects the six major world powers to “respect” its right to enrich uranium based on the regulations of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

“Iran enrichment right has no need to be recognized because it is an indivisible right based on the NPT. What we expect is respect for the components of Iran's right,” Zarif said on Sunday.

“It is necessary that they (the six powers) respect our [enrichment] right and lift sanctions and [relieve the] economic pressure that they have exerted on the [Iranian] nation. We are moving on this path,” the Iranian minister added.

The top Iranian diplomat stressed that enrichment is a “non-negotiable” right and urged all countries to respect it.

Iran says as a signatory to the NPT, it is entitled to use nuclear energy for peaceful purposes. Article 4 of the treaty guarantees countries the right to develop the use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes. 

This article stipulates that nothing in the NPT shall be interpreted as affecting the inalienable right of all signatories to the treaty to use nuclear energy for peaceful purposes.

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