Larijani: P5+1 views Iran talks as tool
Iran's Majlis (Parliament) Speaker Ali Larijani
Iran's Majlis Speaker Ali Larijani has lashed out at the major world powers for considering negotiations over Iran's nuclear program as a “tool” rather than a channel to resolve the issue.
“The main problem with the P5+1 group (Britain, China, France, Russia, and the United States plus Germany) is that they view the negotiations as a tool, while Iran believes that the nuclear issue can be solved through dialogue,” the Majlis speaker said ahead of his trip to Turkey on Wednesday night.
Larijani has traveled to Turkey at the head of a parliamentary delegation upon the invitation of Turkish parliament speaker Cemil Cicek.
In the course of the trip, Larijani will also meet with Turkey's President Abdullah Gul, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu.
Larijani also pointed out that if the P5+1 shifts its views and regards negotiations as a solution, Tehran will take “greater and more effective strides” to help resolve the nuclear issue.
Iran's parliament speaker, however, argued that the country's nuclear rights are non-negotiable as Tehran conducts its nuclear program under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), and called on the P5+1 to cease to invent baseless excuses so the negotiations can have an “enlightening aspect.”
The remarks came after EU foreign policy Chief Catherine Ashton, who also represents the P5+1, threatened Tehran with further sanctions on Wednesday, ahead of the next round of negotiations between Iran and the group in Turkey.
The Western pressure on Tehran comes in the wake of a report by the International Atomic Energy Agency in November, which accused Iran of conducting activities related to developing nuclear weapons before 2003, adding that these activities "may still be ongoing."
The US, Israel and their allies accuse Iran of pursuing a military nuclear program and have used this allegation as a pretext to sway the UN Security Council to impose four rounds of sanctions on Iran.
Tehran has categorically refuted Western allegation, saying that as a signatory to the NPT and a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency it has the right to acquire and develop atomic technology for peaceful purposes.