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October 21, 2013 10:30 am

Iranian Deputy FM: Tehran Will Not Compromise ‘Nuclear Rights’

avatar by Joshua Levitt

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Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Seyed Abbas Araqchi. Photo: Screenshot.

Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Seyed Abbas Araqchi. Photo: Screenshot.

Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister Seyed Abbas Araqchi told Iranian lawmakers on Sunday following last week’s meeting with the five permanent UN Security Council members plus Germany, in Geneva, that Iran will never compromise its “nuclear rights.”

“The defined goal is that we safeguard our nuclear rights; both (uranium) enrichment and production, and that the other side is assured that our use of nuclear energy is peaceful and, in return, the sanctions are totally lifted,” Araqchi was quoted as saying by Mansour Haqiqatpour, spokesman of Iran’s National Security and Foreign Policy Commission, according to Iran’s state-controlled Fars News Agency on Monday.

Araqchi told the parliament’s commission that Iran “has not made any commitments” during the Geneva talks, stressing, “We will never negotiate the red lines of Iran.”

“Araqchi stated that the (Iranian) negotiating team strongly emphasizes the country and the nation’s inalienable rights and feels obliged to protect them,” said the Iranian spokesperson, adding that Araqchi strongly rejected some Israeli media reports about the content of Iran’s nuclear talks with the six powers.

According to the semi-official state news agency Fars, “at this stage, it appears as though the Iranian proposal includes the willingness to limit uranium enrichment, but also a demand that the world powers recognize Iran’s right to enrich uranium on its soil.”

Iran discussed limiting uranium enrichment with the world powers and reportedly expressed willingness to discuss signing the “additional protocol” – snap inspections of its nuclear facilities, Fars said. “None of these issues exist in the first step, but they are part of our last step,” Araqchi said.

Last Wednesday, several reports mentioned a three-staged Iranian proposal to the world powers, due to be enacted within a year. AP reported that Iran is proposing to limit uranium enrichment as well as the number of centrifuges used for the enrichment. The Russian news agency RIA Novosti reported that Iran is prepared to suspend uranium enrichment at 20%, but demands the removal of international sanctions in return.

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