|Any nuclear constraints would be temporary: Iran||
TEHRAN – A senior Iranian nuclear negotiator said on Thursday that any constraints on Tehran’s nuclear program under a comprehensive nuclear deal would be temporary.
“As mentioned in the Geneva agreement, Iran’s uranium enrichment (program) will continue but under some mutually agreed constraints for a specified period of time,” Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi told Iranian reporters in Vienna.
The remarks by the nuclear negotiator came as Iran the six major powers (the five permanent members of the UN Security Council and Germany) resumed a new round of talks in Vienna to hammer out a final nuclear deal to resolve the dispute over Tehran’s nuclear program, which has dragged on for over a decade.
“It is quite certain that if we accept any constraint on any part of our program in order to build confidence, it would be a temporary constraint for a specified period of time, and nothing will be accepted forever,” he said.
The talks, which started in Vienna on Wednesday and are expected to continue at least until July 15, are meant to build on the landmark interim nuclear deal Iran and the 5+1 group (the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany) clinched last November in Geneva.
Under the Geneva deal, Iran agreed not to expand its nuclear program for six months in exchange for limited sanctions relief. The agreement came into force on January 20. Iran and the major powers have set a July 20 deadline to clinch a long-term comprehensive nuclear deal. The deadline can be extended by another half year if both sides agree.
Speculations on number of centrifuges not credible
Araqchi also dismissed reports about the number of centrifuge machines that Iran would be allowed to keep in operation under the final deal and said that media outlets’ speculations in this regard are not credible.
“All the numbers being announced about centrifuges are figments of imagination of certain foreign media outlets and a number of people who have certain motives to do so,” he said.
Reuters quoted Western diplomats as saying on Thursday that Iran had reduced demands for the size of its future nuclear enrichment program in talks with world powers although Western governments were urging Tehran to compromise further.
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