|NAM summit strengthened Iran’s position in talks with 5+1 group: negotiator||
TEHRAN – The Non-Aligned Movement summit, which was held in Tehran in late August, strengthened Iran’s position in the nuclear talks with the six major powers, according to a member of the Iranian nuclear negotiating team.
“Now, after the Non-Aligned (Movement) summit, our negotiating position is stronger than our position before the summit,” Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi told the Persian service of the Mehr News Agency in an exclusive interview published on Saturday.
Araqchi, who is the deputy foreign minister for Asian and Oceanian Affairs, said that time is on Iran’s side and the country’s position will only become stronger day by day.
He said the 5+1 group (the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany) wants Iran to cooperate with the International Atomic Energy Agency beyond its commitments stipulated in the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), and the six powers are not ready to recognize Iran’s right to uranium enrichment or to lift the sanctions imposed on Iran.
“We say each side has red lines and we should respect each other’s red lines. We say that our rights should be recognized based on the NPT and international regulations.”
He added that the major powers say they are concerned that Iran may develop nuclear weapons but “there are solutions” to allay each side’s concerns.
If they recognize Iran’s right to uranium enrichment, Tehran will be ready to register as a document the fatwa (religious decree) issued by the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution that bans the production, stockpiling, and use of nuclear weapons and declares such actions haram (forbidden in Islam), he stated.
“For example they want us to cooperate with the agency beyond our commitment in order to make sure that our nuclear program does not have a military dimension… and we say if we (agree to) such cooperation, what will happen in return? Of course, sanctions must be lifted.”
He added that the major powers are seeking commitments from Iran beyond its obligations, but what they will do in return must be made clear. Of course, they should lift the sanctions against Iran, he said.
“Our demand is that, like any other country, we should also have a peaceful nuclear program. Their demand is that there should be a guarantee that Iran will not develop nuclear weapons,” and there are ways to allay these concerns, “but the fact that they do not cooperate and put forward suggestions that are impractical and unrealistic and unwise is due to (their) lack of political will.”
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