Fri May 29, 2015 3:4PM
Seyyed Abbas Araqchi, Iran’s deputy foreign minister for legal and international affairs and a nuclear negotiator (Courtesy of Tasnim news agency)
Seyyed Abbas Araqchi, Iran’s deputy foreign minister for legal and international affairs and a nuclear negotiator (Courtesy of Tasnim news agency)

A senior Iranian nuclear negotiator has reaffirmed that inspections of Iran’s military sites and interviews with Iranian nuclear scientists will not be on the agenda of the Islamic Republic’s nuclear talks with the P5+1 states.

Seyyed Abbas Araqchi, who is Iran’s deputy foreign minister for legal and international affairs, described as “a decisive and serious guideline” the recent statements by Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei, who rejected calls for the inspection of Iran’s military sites and interviews with the country’s nuclear scientists as part of a final nuclear deal.

Araqchi emphasized, “We have fully informed the opposite [negotiating] side that this (the issue of inspections and interviews) will never be on the agenda” of the negotiations, IRNA reported.

On May 20, Ayatollah Khamenei said Iran will not allow any inspections by foreign countries of its military sites. He also stressed that foreigners will not be permitted to interview Iranian scientists in the nuclear domain and “other sensitive majors.”

Araqchi added that alternative solutions are now being discussed that would alleviate the concerns of the P5+1 – the United States, Russia, China, France, and Britain plus Germany – over Iran’s nuclear activities.

“We will implement them should we reach a conclusion. Otherwise, negotiations will continue until we reach an agreed solution,” Araqchi said.

Representatives from Iran and six major powers meet in Vienna, Austria, April 24, 2015. (© AFP)

 

On the timetable for the simultaneous lifting of anti-Iran sanctions and the Islamic Republic’s implementation of a final nuclear agreement, the Iranian deputy foreign minister said the issue is among the sticking points for which a final solution has yet to be found.

“There are other issues for which we have not yet reached any solutions,” he said, adding that different proposals are being put forward and discussed. “Talks will carry on until a solution acceptable for both sides is found.”

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif (C) and his deputies Seyyed Abbas Araqchi (R) and Majid Takht-e-Ravanchi (file photo)

 

On Friday, Araqchi and his peer Majid Takht-e-Ravanchi departed the Austrian capital of Vienna – where they had been holding talks with a representative for the P5+1 – for Geneva, Switzerland, to join Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, who is due to meet with his US counterpart John Kerry as part of the nuclear negotiations on Saturday.

High-ranking nuclear negotiators from Iran and the five veto-wielding members of the Security Council plus Germany are seeking to finalize a comprehensive deal on the Islamic Republic’s civilian nuclear activities by the end of June.

MP/MKA/HJL