Iran’s Majlis Speaker Ali Larijani says confidence-building is the key element in the upcoming talks in Geneva over Iran’s civilian nuclear program, reiterating, however, that Tehran will not forswear its right to peaceful nuclear technology.
“The most important point in the negotiations is that Iran seeks peaceful nuclear know-how and considers it a right, but the other side is worried about [access to] nuclear weapons,” said Larijani in a press conference in Geneva on Wednesday on the sidelines of the 129th Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) Assembly in Geneva.
“We, too, accept that nuclear weapons are destructive,” said the parliamentarian, adding, “If the intent of the other negotiating side is to clarify Iran’s nuclear issue, it is not difficult to resolve it.”
Responding to a question on Iran’s expectation from the US during the nuclear talks, the Majlis speaker said, “We want them not to obstruct the negotiating process.”
On whether the Americans have taken appropriate steps to build trust in settling Iran’s nuclear issue, Larijani said, “We must be realistic about this topic. When Americans have carried out oppression, coup d'états and wars against the Iranian nation for over half a century, building trust does not come in a couple of days.”
Trust, he added, “will come after the talks, not before them.”
Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council - Russia, China, France, Britain, and the US - plus Germany have agreed to hold a new round of talks over Iran's nuclear energy program on October 15-16 in Geneva.
On another question linking the outcome of the nuclear talks to Iran’s joining the World Trade Organization (WTO), Larijani stressed that the country’s economic difficulties is not much related to joining the WTO or even the US-led sanctions.
“We had management issues that must be overcome and I think things will be moving in that direction. Of course, in order to join the WTO, preparations must be made in the country in economic terms, which takes time,” said the Iranian Majlis speaker.
On the possible concerns of certain Arab states over Iran and the US mending fences, Larijani further underlined that the Islamic Republic maintains its approach of expanding cooperation with neighboring countries, adding that while Iran has good trade ties with a number of Arab neighbors, it may have differences of opinion on some issues, “which are not important and can be resolved.”
In response to another question on the recent developments in Egypt, the head of Iran’s legislature described the Arab nation as “a key state in the Muslim world” and added that following Egypt’s revolution, a democratic movement began in the country, which Iran supported, “but unfortunately some problems emerged for this revolution, which necessitates vigilance.”
Urging national unity in Egypt, Larijani further emphasized that a military solution will definitely not resolve the problems in Egypt, Bahrain or Syria.
On the Syrian crisis, Larijani reiterated that if certain Western and Arab states stop backing the foreign terrorists inside Syria, the Syrian conflict can be resolved.