Speaker: West’s Standoff over Iran’s N. Program Politically-Tainted
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Iranian parliament speaker said the country's right to enrich uranium for civilian purposes does not need the confirmation of others, adding that the legislature supports the nuclear talks and insists on safeguarding all aspects of the peaceful nuclear program.
Speaking in an open session of Iran’s parliament on Tuesday, Ali Larijani said certain western countries, particularly the US, are trying to throw doubt on Iran’s inalienable right to uranium enrichment, since they have political objectives behind the debate.
Iran’s right to enrichment does not require admission of any country, Larijani stressed, and added, “All member countries of the (International Atomic Energy) agency, which have signed the NPT, are entitled to the (enrichment) right, even though they do not apply that right.”
His comments came after Iran and the G5+1 countries (also known as P5+1) inked an interim deal on Tehran’s nuclear program following more than four days of intensive negotiations in the Swiss city of Geneva on November 24.
Aimed at ending a decade-long standoff, the agreement was clinched after tough diplomatic negotiations, and is intended as a first step toward a more comprehensive nuclear pact to be completed in six months.
Sunday's agreement said Iran and the major powers aimed to reach a final deal that would "involve a mutually defined enrichment program with mutually agreed parameters consistent with practical needs, with agreed limits on scope and level of enrichment activities, capacity, where it is carried out, and stocks of enriched uranium, for a period to be agreed upon."
Iranian officials point to the mention of an enrichment program as a stipulation that shows Tehran will be allowed to keep it. Western officials, however, say it means no such thing and emphasize all the limits described in the text.
Larijani said the US officials have qualms about Iran’s enrichment right, because all the unilateral sanctions against Tehran have been imposed under the pretext that the Islamic Republic’s civilian nuclear activities, including uranium enrichment, might have been pursuing non-civilian objectives.
“Some members of the (G)5+1 say (to Iran) that we want to block your activities because we have the force,” the speaker added.
Larijani also asserted that the parliament would lend its support to the team of nuclear negotiators, and the country’s peaceful nuclear technology in all aspects.
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Monday that the deal between Iran and its negotiating partners states that Tehran will continue the enrichment, but its level can be discussed.
Zarif added that this was the first time the West recognized Iran’s nuclear right and respected that as an inalienable right. But while Iran says its right to enrich uranium has been recognized, US officials maintain that is not the case.