|There are extreme views about Geneva nuclear deal: ex-negotiator||
TEHRAN – A former Iranian nuclear negotiator says the interim nuclear deal signed between Iran the six major powers (the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany) in Geneva last November is neither a “mother of all victories” nor a “disgrace”.
In an interview with the ISNA news agency published on Friday, Hossein Mousavian said officials should clearly tell people that “in negotiations we give concessions and take concessions”.
Based on the agreement Iran agreed not to expand its nuclear program and to suspend its 20 percent uranium enrichment in return for a limited easing of the sanctions imposed on the country. It also allows Iran and the 5+1 group (the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany) to draw up a comprehensive nuclear deal which will lead to a lifting of the sanctions on Iran and Iran will provide the world verifiable guarantees that its nuclear program is solely for peaceful purposes.
Mousavian said some have gone to the extremes in analyzing the deal in a way that some believe that Iran has lost everything and describe the agreement as a treasonous act and call the negotiators “the simplest” persons who know nothing about diplomacy and some others who consider the agreement as the “mother of all victories” in which the 5+1 group surrendered to Iran “but I believe that the Geneva deal is neither the mother of all victories nor a disgrace.”
The Geneva deal is a “win-win” game and this does not mean that all sides have achieved their desired goals, said Mousavian who was a member of the Iranian nuclear negotiating team in the government of President Mohammad Khatami.
He also said all countries which are doing uranium enrichment activities have signed the Addition Protocol to the NPT and Iranian officials should not behave in a way that if it one day Tehran signed the protocol the “people would have a feeling of defeat.”
The Addition Protocol allows intensive inspections of nuclear installations by the International Atomic Energy Agency.
Mousavian also said a comprehensive nuclear deal between Iran and the 5+1 group is “possible”.
He added, “Iran’s least demands in the final deal should be enrichment on its soil and the lifting of all sanctions.”
Production nuclear fuels through “uranium enrichment” and “heavy water” are legally allowed under the NPT, he explained.
The former ambassador to Germany said if some IAEA members put the issue of enrichment by NPT signatories under question it is because they have “political motivation”, adding there are many countries like Germany, Argentina, the Netherlands, Brazil, and Japan which have signed the NPT and are doing enrichment on their soils.
“If it (enrichment) was illegal then according to the treaty (NPT) these countries should not also do enrichment.”
Critics of the nuclear deal, known as the Joint Plan of Action, say there is no mention of Iran’s right to “nuclear enrichment”.
However Mousavian said, “Based on the NPT we believe that enrichment is our right and do not negotiate on it whether they (the U.S.) recognize it or not.”
He defended the negotiators, calling them the “most intelligent diplomats.”
“If I want to air judgment fairly if anybody else among the 75 (Iranian) population attended the negotiations he could not get more concessions than what the negotiating team did.”
“They gave us concession and that is acceptance of enrichment on the Iranian soil and we gave one concession and that is limitation in our enrichment and this means negotiation.”
The Supreme Leader has supported the Iranian nuclear negotiators.
“If it was not the Leader’s support we did not reach this stage and from now on we will not reach anywhere without the Leader’s support,” Mousavian noted.
He also said the “final nuclear deal” can be implemented between three to five years.
The former diplomat also said nuclear enrichment to a purity level of 20 percent was a “proper act”.
“Iran has never had a plan to enrich uranium above 5 percent” but when Western countries said that they will not sell nuclear fuel to Iran to operate the Tehran nuclear reactor “we ourselves moved to produce fuel to the purity of 20 percent which I believe was a proper act because they realized” that they cannot impose their will on Iran “through pressure and threats”, he explained.
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