Putin: Final Deal Must Guarantee Iran's Nuclear Rights
TEHRAN (Tasnim) _ Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday that Iran’s right to enjoy a nuclear energy industry for peaceful purposes should be guaranteed in the comprehensive deal is hoped to resolve the nuclear standoff for good.
“It is necessary to carry on a patient search for a broader solution to guarantee the unalienable right of Iran to develop a peaceful atomic energy industry,” Putin said during his annual address to the Kremlin on Thursday, adding the final settlement should also guarantee security for all countries of the region.
The Russian president described the deal reached in late November between Iran and the G5+1 in Geneva as a "breakthrough," but said more needs to be done to transform this "first step” into a lasting agreement that puts an end to the standoff over Iran's nuclear program.
Under an interim deal signed on November 24 with the United States, Russia, France, Britain, China and Germany, Iran agreed to limit uranium enrichment in exchange for minor relief from western sanctions. The deal is intended to allow time to negotiate a comprehensive agreement on the nuclear program.
The agreement runs for six months while negotiations continue on a comprehensive final deal. There is little doubt, however, that the main sticking point is Iran’s insistence that it has a right to enrich uranium for peaceful purposes.
Article 4 of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty guarantees countries the right to develop the use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes. It stipulates that nothing in this treaty shall be interpreted as affecting the inalienable right of all the parties to the treaty to develop research, production and use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes.
While Iranian officials stress that the deal tacitly recognizes Iran's right to enrich uranium, White House officials and Secretary of State John Kerry repeatedly have said that Iran’s assertion of a “right to enrich” uranium would not be recognized in an interim deal.
But the text says the “comprehensive solution” will “involve a mutually defined enrichment program with mutually agreed parameters,” suggesting that the United States and its partners have already agreed that Iranian enrichment activity will continue indefinitely.
Iran maintains that this is no concession but is, rather, recognition of the country’s inalienable right under the NPT to enrich uranium on its own soil.
Putin further argued that Iran’s nuclear deal with the West leaves no place for the deployment of missile systems in Europe. NATO is currently rolling out its new Europe-wide missile system, which will include two bases close to the Russian border in Romania and Poland.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov who was in Tehran earlier this week said that the Geneva deal between Tehran and six major world powers produced results, among which is the recognition of Iran’s right to enrich uranium for peaceful purposes on its soil.
“We believe that the Geneva document should be completely carried out by the all sides. We try to make it happen, and we will have a tight schedule to reach the next stage and the final package, so that the issue would be completely settled,” Lavrov added.