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Sun Feb 17, 2013 6:13AM
Secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) Saeed Jalili (2nd-L) meets with European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton (2nd-R) at the consulate of Iran in Istanbul, September 18, 2012.

Secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) Saeed Jalili (2nd-L) meets with European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton (2nd-R) at the consulate of Iran in Istanbul, September 18, 2012.

A senior Iranian lawmaker says the lifting of sanctions imposed against Iran is the least of the country’s demands in the upcoming talks with the P5+1 group of world powers. In the upcoming talks with the P5+1 - Britain, China, France, Russia, and the United States plus Germany - the Western countries should not be led to believe that the removal of sanctions is Iran’s only demand, Ahmadreza Dastgheib, deputy chairman of Iran’s Majlis Foreign Policy and National Security Committee said on Saturday. “What is important for us is the recognition of the status of the Islamic Republic in international relations and equations,” Dastgheib added. Iran and the P5+1 have held several rounds of negotiations mainly over Iran’s nuclear energy program. The two sides have agreed to hold the next round of talks in Kazakhstan on February 26. The last round of the negotiations between Iran and the P5+1 was held in Moscow in June 2012. The US, Israel, and some of their allies have repeatedly accused Iran of pursuing non-civilian objectives in its nuclear energy program. Using the unfounded allegation as pretext, the US and its European allies have imposed illegal unilateral sanctions against the Islamic Republic. Iran rejects the allegations, arguing that as a committed signatory to the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) it is entitled to develop nuclear technology for peaceful purposes. In addition, the IAEA has conducted numerous inspections of Iran's nuclear facilities but has never found any evidence showing that the Iranian nuclear program has been diverted toward military objectives. MYA/HMV
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