Iran says uranium enrichment on home soil will be a red line in any final settlement of the dispute over its nuclear energy program.
In an interview with the German daily Suddeutsche Zeitung on Thursday, senior Iranian nuclear negotiator Abbas Araqchi said Iran will also not ship its uranium stockpiles out of the country.
Araqchi, who is deputy foreign minister for legal and international affairs, also rejected any demands for shutting down any nuclear plants.
On November 24, Iran and the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council - Russia, China, France, Britain and the US - plus Germany inked an interim deal in the Swiss city of Geneva to set the stage for the full resolution of the dispute over the Islamic Republic’s nuclear energy program.
Representatives from Iran and the six countries are now holding a new round of expert-level talks in Geneva to devise mechanisms to implement the deal.
Elsewhere in the interview, Araqchi also criticized the US for imposing new sanctions against Iran in contravention of the Geneva agreement and described the move as contrary to the spirit and context of the deal.
Both sides had agreed to act in good faith but the behavior of the US is certainly not a proof of the goodwill of the other side, he said.
On December 12, the administration of US President Barack Obama issued new sanctions against more than a dozen companies and individuals for “providing support” for Iran’s nuclear energy program.
The new sanctions come despite the Geneva deal under which it was agreed that in exchange for Iran agreeing to limit certain aspects of its nuclear activities, it would be provided with a certain amount of sanctions relief and no more nuclear-related sanctions would be imposed on the country for six months.