|‘Pressure will not compel Iran to change nuclear policy’||
TEHRAN – Pressure from the United States will not compel Iran to change its nuclear policies, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Marzieh Afkham said on Friday.
“Now that there are only a few days left to a new round of talks, such remarks strain the positive atmosphere that has been created between Iran and the 5+1 (the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany),” Afkham said in response to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s recent statements.
In an interview with CNN published on Wednesday, Kerry commented on the six-month interim nuclear deal reached between Iran and the 5+1 group, which came into force on January 20, and said, “Now, we have people in there every single day. We’ve actually frozen their program in place and have rolled it back to the degree that they're destroying some of their stockpile.”
He also said, “Now, that's for the next six months only. If there isn't an agreement, we have the right to extend, if we thought we were making progress. But if there isn't an agreement, every option, including increased sanctions or anything else is available to the president of the United States.
So we have given up absolutely nothing here. The sanctions regime is still sequestering billions of dollars that could have gone to the Iranians that is not going to them, that will sit in banks, held unavailable to the Iranians, even while we are negotiating this program.”
The interim deal, which was reached in Geneva last November, granted Iran a limited easing of the sanctions in return for temporary constraints on its uranium enrichment and nuclear development.
Iran and the six major powers will hold talks on a final nuclear deal on February 18 in Vienna.
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