No stop or suspension in work of Iran nuclear facilities: Zarif

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif talks to reporters upon arrival in Tehran on April 3, 2015.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif says under the mutual understanding reached between Tehran and the P5+1 in Switzerland, the Islamic Republic will keep its peaceful nuclear program without shutting down any facilities.

At the end of eight days of intensive nuclear negotiations in Lausanne on Thursday, Iran and the P5+1 states – Russia, China, France, Britain, the US and Germany – issued a joint statement, saying that no Iranian nuclear facility will be shut down or suspended and all sanctions against the Islamic Republic will be lifted.

Speaking upon his return to Tehran following the talks in Lausanne, Switzerland, Zarif told reporters on Friday that the resolutions issued by the UN Security Council (UNSC) against Iran will be all annulled following the endorsement of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) as a UNSC resolution.

“You are aware that all the six [UN] Security Council resolutions call for an end to Iran’s uranium enrichment program, a halt in Arak heavy reactor [activities] and the closure of Fordow facility among many other illegitimate demands. [However,] none of these demands will materialize,” Zarif said.

He added that the Natanz nuclear facility will also continue enriching uranium and there will be no stop or suspension in its activities “even for a single day.”

The top Iranian diplomat said based on the joint statement, limits on Iran’s uranium enrichment activities will be in place only for 10 years although there had been talks of more restrictions on the country’s enrichment work for a longer period of time.

Iran has said from the beginning that it would never implement the “unjust” and “illegal” UNSC resolutions, stated Zarif, reassuring that once the JCPOA is adopted as a UNSC resolution, it will render null and void all of the council’s previous nuclear-related resolutions against Iran.

Zarif stressed that all countries, including the US, should abide by the final agreement when it is finalized, adding that “under international law the US government is obliged to remove the sanctions at once.”

Zarif also rejected certain statements about the gradual removal of anti-Iran sanctions, saying the claims run counter to the current agreements between the negotiating sides.

Less than 24 hours after Iran and the P5+1 reached a mutual understanding over Tehran's nuclear energy program, the US published a fact sheet detailing parameters for the JCPOA. The sheet, however, seems to have differences with the original joint statement.

While the agreed plan predicts a 10-year framework of actions, the White House fact sheet says uranium enrichment at Iran’s Fordow facility would stop for at least 15 years.

Although Iran has reiterated that all sanctions have to be lifted simultaneously as soon as the final deal comes into force, the US version indicates that the architecture of nuclear-related sanctions will be retained for much of the duration of the deal.

The US fact sheet also says the bans will also be snapped back into place in the event of any non-performance. It adds that the Security Council could impose all previous sanctions in case the issue of non-performance cannot be resolved through negotiations.

In posts on his Tweet account, Zarif pointed to the joint statement, which had stipulated that the US and EU will remove all economic and financial sanctions on Iran immediately, contrary to the assertions of the US-produced "fact sheet" on the statement.

On his Tweeter account, Zarif also cautioned against relying on the contents of misleading "fact sheets," including its details on Iran’s enrichment work and the US claim of gradual sanctions relief for Iran.

Representatives of Iran and the P5+1 group of countries along with senior officials of the European Union have held intense talks to narrow their differences on Tehran’s nuclear activities.

The joint statement is a sign that Iran and its negotiating partners have come to a mutual understanding over Iran’s nuclear program and will work to draw up a final accord by the end of the self-designated June 30 deadline.


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