Iran, six powers to resume nuclear talks in Geneva

Representatives from Iran and the six major world powers are set to resume a fresh round of talks about Tehran’s nuclear energy program in the Swiss city of Geneva in two days.

The next round of talks between Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council – Russia, China, France, Britain and the US – plus Germany is slated for November 20 in the Swiss city of Geneva.

Iran Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi said on Saturday that the next round of nuclear negotiations in Geneva would be “difficult” but stressed that “an agreement that would fail to assert the rights of the Iranian nation would not be made” in the course of talks.

The Geneva meeting will be held with the Israeli regime exerting intense pressure on Western countries to a possible nuclear deal with Iran.

Meanwhile, French President Francois Hollande said during his visit to Israel that Iran should meet four demands to reach an agreement over its nuclear energy program.

“The first demand: put all the Iranian nuclear installations under international supervision, right now. Second point: suspend enrichment to 20 percent. Thirdly: to reduce the existing stock [of enriched material],” Hollande said.

“And finally, to halt construction of the Arak [heavy water] plant. These are the points which for us are essential to guarantee any agreement,” he added.

Ironically, France was the first country that facilitated Israel’s nuclear weapons program.

Iran has repeatedly announced that all its nuclear activities are under the surveillance of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

Tehran says as a committed signatory to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and a member of the IAEA, it has the right to use the nuclear technology for peaceful purposes.

Meanwhile, the Islamic Republic has always described uranium enrichment inside the country as its “red line” in its peaceful nuclear activities, stressing no one has the right to cross or negotiate about it.

“For us, red lines are not to be crossed. The rights of the Iranian nation and [our] national interests are our red lines; and those rights include nuclear rights within the framework of international law, as well as enrichment on Iranian soil,” President Rouhani said on November 10.

Hollande’s remarks come as France has been one of the main reasons behind hampering a possible deal between Iran and the six powers during the last round of talks on November 7-10 when the two sides managed to narrow their differences and were seemingly close to reaching an agreement.

On November 9, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said “Israel’s concerns” must be taken into consideration in the course of the negotiations.

Israel is widely believed to be the sole possessor of nuclear weapons in the Middle East, with estimated 200-400 nuclear warheads.

The Israeli regime, which rejects all international nuclear regulatory agreements, particularly the NPT, maintains a policy of deliberate ambiguity over its nuclear activities and refuses to allow its nuclear facilities to come under international regulatory inspections.

Israel’s Economy and Trade Minister Naftali Bennett has recently met with a number of congressmen in Washington in order to persuade them to oppose a diplomatic deal with Iran.

By Press TV


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