West must be sincere in nuclear talks: Iran's speaker
Iran's Majlis speaker has urged the six world powers to act in good faith in order for nuclear negotiations to move forward.
Rejecting claims that Tehran has come to the negotiating table over its nuclear energy program under the pressure of sanctions, Ali Larijani said the Islamic Republic entered into talks with sincerity, and “the West, too, should be transparent and sincere, so that there would be progress in the process of the talks.”
He made the remarks in a Thursday ceremony marking the second anniversary of the assassination of Iranian nuclear scientist Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan.
Larijani expressed hope that in the ongoing negotiations, the West would not, like before, seek excuses and try to undermine the implementation of agreements, but rather, would remain committed to principles to achieve a favorable outcome.
Talks between Iran and Western powers should not create the impression that they are authorized to meddle in the Islamic Republic’s affairs.
“The Arak [heavy water] facility should not be shut down, and our country’s nuclear technology should not be limited either, because this amounts to interference in Iran’s sovereignty,” Larijani added.
After days of intense negotiations, Iran and six powers - Russia, China, France, Britain, the US and Germany - reached a deal on November 24, 2013 in the Swiss city of Geneva to set the stage for the settlement of the dispute over the Islamic Republic’s nuclear energy program.
Later, experts from the two sides launched talks to devise a mechanism to implement the interim deal. The expert-level talks concluded on December 31, 2013.
On Thursday, Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Legal and International Affairs Abbas Araqchi arrived in Geneva and held talks with Helga Schmid, a deputy for EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, and Wendy Sherman, US Undersecretary of State, on the outstanding issues over the implementation of the deal. The talks are scheduled to resume between the Iranian and EU negotiators on Friday.
Under the Geneva deal, the six countries undertook to provide Iran with some sanctions relief in exchange for Iran agreeing to limit certain aspects of its nuclear activities during a six-month period. It was also agreed that no nuclear-related sanctions would be imposed on Iran within the same timeframe.