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December 25, 2014 10:33 am

Iran Warns Western Powers Against ‘Illegitimate Demands’ in Nuclear Talks

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Natanz Nuclear Facility in Iran. Photo: Hamed Saber. – Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has warned Western countries against making “humiliating, illegitimate demands” in the ongoing negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program.

“I am confident that a comprehensive agreement is within reach,” Zarif wrote in separate letters to Western counterparts, the Mehr news agency reported Wednesday. “But we will firmly resist any humiliating, illegitimate demands.”

After the Nov. 24 deadline for negotiating a nuclear deal expired last month, the talks between Iran and the P5+1 powers—the U.S., France, Germany, Russia, China, and Britain—were extended to June 30, 2015. The original interim nuclear deal, reached in November 2013 and extended after a missed deadline last July, led to an easing of some sanctions on Iran.

While world powers want to severely curtail Iran’s enrichment capability or have enriched fuel sent abroad for processing, Iran is seeking to retain its full ability to enrich uranium. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has called for the complete dismantling of Iran’s nuclear program. Many leading U.S. Republican legislators, ahead of their party’s forthcoming control of both houses of Congress in January, have expressed similar sentiments and have promised to block any “bad deal” with Iran that allows the country to retain enrichment capability.

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