|Iran wants balanced, fair, comprehensive nuclear solution: Araqchi||
TEHRAN – In an exclusive interview with Chinese CCTV on Wednesday, Iran’s top nuclear negotiator Abbas Araqchi said that Iran is determined to achieve a balanced, just, and comprehensive solution on its nuclear program with the world powers.
Following is the text of the interview:
Q: U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry delivered a speech recently in Davos, in which he mentioned Arak. Do you think Iran will accept (to) significant(ly) downgrade the Arak reactor in the future?
A: Arak reactor is the result of almost three decades of hard scientific works by Iranian scientists alone. It’s a big scientific achievement. There is no single reason why we should give it up. At the same time, we recognize that there are some proliferation concerns about a heavy-water reactor. What we can do is trying to reduce those concerns, bring them to hopefully zero. There are ways and means to reduce and remove hopefully the proliferation risks attached to this reactor. As I said there is no single reason why we should give it up, something that is a national pride, something that is a big scientific research. But we are ready to work on the proliferation concerns and try to remove them using creative technology and methods.
Q: The shutting down and dismantling of nuclear facilities is the red-line for your government?
A: Of course it is a red-line. Why should we dismantle anything? We are going to negotiate many things. As I said if they find any reasonable and logic concerns, we will try to address that. We are ready to address, remove and take care of all real concerns. That is the principle for us. We don’t think there is need for any dismantling and any places to be shut down. We can do that by keeping everything in place.
Q: What do you think are the main obstacle and complications in the future talks?
A: There are different concerns, and different elements of our peaceful nuclear program. As I said the limit on enrichment is a very difficult question, to resolve concerns on the Arak heavy-water reactor is something important, to decide on the question of enhancing monitoring and additional protocol, and how the sanctions are lifted. This is a very important question. As a person who has been engaged in this business in the past several years, I know it will be very difficult to come to a compromise on all of them. All of us have our own red-lines. How to deal with these red-lines and how to compromise between red-lines of both sides should be a difficult job as I mentioned. But I’m not pessimistic, I’m not too much optimistic. I’m trying to be realistic. I think a solution is achievable. But it needs a lot of efforts, good will and real determination. And this is something that we will be able to discuss when we start this process.
Q: So what in your idea these comprehensive and long-term negotiations, and this deal looks like?
A: It should take us to a destination, to a target where Iran can enjoy its nuclear rights according to NPT, for having a peaceful nuclear program, including enrichment, and where all sanctions are lifted, and where confidences are built that there is no nuclear weapons involved in this program. We are confident that we do not need such a program. We don’t want nuclear weapons. We consider them as inhumane, and even more importantly un-Islamic. We consider them as against our Islamic teachings and we have a very clear religious by our Supreme Leader, who is the highest religious, political and constitutional authority in Iran. He has very explicitly and clearly said that production, stockpiling and use of all kinds of weapons of mass-destruction are totally forbidden in Islamic teachings.
Q: You are going to negotiate the final deal. So what are your expectations?
A: I expect a very serious challenging negotiations of us. We are totally determined to move forward to achieve a balanced, and just comprehensive solution. And we hope that the other side can come with the same spirit and same determination to resolve this unnecessary crisis.
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