|Iran expects reciprocity in nuclear talks: Rouhani||
TEHRAN - Iran will pursue the nuclear talks with the 5+1 group in sincerity on the condition that the six major powers seek to build confidence and act in line with international law with more transparency, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on Sunday.
In a meeting with Finnish Foreign Minister Erkki Tuomioja in Tehran, Rouhani said, “Iran has always tried to hold serious, deep, and constructive negotiations with the 5+1 group, and the path to reach a comprehensive nuclear deal can remain clear as long as the 5+1 group’s objective in the talks is not exerting pressure on Iran to hinder the country’s scientific and technological advancement.”
According to the Presidential Office, Rouhani also stated that Iran will never accept any discrimination that violates international law and the Islamic Republic is seeking to obtain its inalienable rights, like other members of the International Atomic Energy Agency.
Commenting on the achievements in the Iran-5+1 group talks since last November, Rouhani said that Tehran “regards its right to develop its scientific capacity as a red line and will never discuss its military might, including its defensive missiles.”
The Iranian president stated that sanctions have so far led to nothing but a loss-loss situation and expressed hope that Finland, as a member of the European Union, would make the utmost efforts to bring an end to this approach and would help the efforts to reach an agreement on the long-awaited comprehensive nuclear deal.
He also said that “the imposition of illegal and unilateral sanctions, which run contrary to the principles of international law, would harm both Iran and the European Union.”
Emphasizing that the era of exerting pressure on nations through sanctions ended long ago, Rouhani noted, “Iran has always been ready for talks and ready to sit at the negotiating table, and has succeeded in reaching good results with the European side. However, the issue of sanctions was again raised by the United States, which was not the right approach to pursue.”
“Regional nations will always defend a [European] Union that safeguards its independence and stands firm against the pressure of major powers, such as… the United States.”
Elsewhere in his remarks, the president touched on the issue of instability in the region and Europe, saying the “differences between countries should be addressed through negotiations and non-military approaches.”
“Differences among nations harm innocent civilians the most. The world witnessed how dozens of lives were lost in the Malaysian airplane crash,” Rouhani added.
He also described violence as yet another global crisis. Criticizing some European states’ double-standard in regard to the issue of terrorism, he said, “When terrorists were slaughtering people en masse in Syria, they were supported by some countries. But the same countries have now adopted a different approach since their own interests are at stake.”
“The Islamic Republic of Iran regards terrorism as a heinous phenomenon wherever it occurs, since [Iran] values the lives of innocent people,” he observed.
Elsewhere in his remarks, Rouhani evaluated Tehran-Helsinki relations as positive and expressed hope that the two countries would be able to boost their ties in the international and regional arenas as well as in the economic, scientific, cultural, and environmental spheres.
The Finnish foreign minister said, “Iran and the European Union are now on the threshold of opening a new chapter in their bilateral ties,” adding that Finland appreciates the achievements attained during the nuclear talks between Iran and the 5+1 group (the United States, France, Britain, China, Russia, and Germany). Tuomioja also said Helsinki fully supports the efforts to reach a comprehensive nuclear deal.
“The normalization of Iran-EU ties is now urgent, considering developments in the world. We also agree with you that the outcome of the talks must be a win-win situation,” he stated.
Tuomioja noted that there are four nuclear power plants in operation in Finland at the moment, while a fifth one is being built, adding, “No country can stop a nation from enjoying its right to peaceful nuclear energy.”
The Finnish foreign minister also expressed concern about the situation in Iraq and called for collective measures to address the terrorism plaguing the country.
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