Cleric cautions against West’s unreliability in N. talks with Iran

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – A senior Iranian cleric urged the country’s team of nuclear negotiators to proceed with extreme caution in talks with major world powers, warning the diplomats that the West — the US in particular — has an insatiable desire to win more concessions in the negotiations.

Addressing a large gathering of worshippers here in Tehran today, Tehran’s Provisional Friday Prayers Leader Ayatollah Mohammad Ali Movahedi Kermani emphasized the need for increased vigilance in the nuclear negotiations with the six major world powers, throwing doubt on sincerity of the US in dealing with Iran’s nuclear program.

This comes as Iran and the Group 5+1 (the five permanent UN Security Council members plus Germany) signed a six-month deal on Tehran’s nuclear program after three rounds of intensive talks in the Swiss city of Geneva on November 24, which can set the stage to negotiate a comprehensive agreement on the nuclear program.

During the half-year period, Iran and the G5+1 are due to negotiate a comprehensive deal with the aim of resolving for good the standoff over Iran’s nuclear program after a decade of on-off meetings and failed attempts.

Ayatollah Movahedi Kermani further reminded the country’s team of negotiators engaged in the nuclear talks about the great hardship the Iranian nation has suffered throughout the history, and called on them to take into account the realities on the ground.

“The more concessions you offer, the more raging the thirst of the US and (the Group) 5+1 becomes,” he warned the Iranian negotiators.

He also reiterated Iran’s mistrust of the US and hegemonic powers, adding that enemies will resort to any potion to carry on with their hostile activities.

In relevant remarks on Thursday, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif underlined Tehran’s deep mistrust of the West, the US in particular, and stated that the country will judge the western officials based on their deeds not words.

“I should say that we have no trust in the US and the West, but we judge them based on their practical steps,” Zarif said.

As regards US officials’ rhetoric that all options, including military option, are on the US table, the Iranian foreign minister said such comments are not in the interests of the United States, and at the same time have no impact on the resistance of the Iranian nation.

“If the US complies with its commitments practically, then we will continue the work (cooperation) because we have entered the scene with wide-open eyes and good will.”

“While the ink of the agreement was still not dry, they denied everything and rejected Iran’s enrichment right and brazenly say that all options are on the table… these statements show that the initial negotiations have had no effect on moderating the hostilities of the US towards Iran,” Ayatollah Movahedi Kermani added.

Also, Iran’s deputy foreign minister said Washington’s bellicose rhetoric and talk of military option against Iran would jeopardize the next round of talks with six major world powers over the Islamic Republic’s nuclear energy program.

“The US’s harsh statements will create problems for the process of negotiations in the next round,” Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi told reporters on Thursday.

“Harsh and extreme remarks such as ‘the military option against Iran being on the table’ is not constructive,” the Iranian nuclear negotiator added.

By Tasnim News Agency


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