TEHRAN (FNA)- Iranian President Hassan Rouhani expressed optimism about the nuclear talks between Iran and the world powers underway in Geneva, and said the negotiations will yield its early positive results in the next two months.
“Mr. Rouhani referred to the Geneva negotiations and said the negotiations will yield positive results in the next one to two months and then we can have development in the country’s economy,” Jabbar Kouchakinejad told FNA on Monday, quoting President Rouhani’s remarks during a meeting with the representatives of the Northern province of Gilan at the parliament.
His remarks came as Iran and the six world powers (the US, Russia, France, China, Britain and Germany) started a third round of expert-level talks in Geneva, Switzerland, on Monday in a bid to devise mechanisms to implement the interim nuclear deal struck last month.
Hamid Baeidinejad, the director general for political and international affairs at Iran’s Foreign Ministry, is leading the Iranian delegation which includes experts from nuclear, banking, oil and transportation sectors. Stephen Clement, who is an aide to EU Foreign Policy Chief Catherine Ashton, is heading the experts team of the six world powers.
During a phone conversation on December 22, Iran’s Foreign Minister and top negotiator Mohammad Javad Zarif and EU’s Ashton, who heads the world powers’ delegations in the talks with Tehran, decided to continue the negotiations between their experts after Christmas.
Earlier this month, Iran and the six world powers held four days of talks in Geneva. The first experts meeting was held in Vienna, Austria, on December 9
The Vienna negotiations among experts were scheduled to continue until December 13, but the Iranian negotiators cut short the talks and returned to Iran in protest at the US breach of the Geneva agreement by blacklisting a dozen companies and individuals for evading Washington’s sanctions.
US Secretary of State John Kerry tried to soothe Tehran’s anger over Washington’s fresh sanctions in a phone call to Zarif earlier this month.
On November 24, Iran and the Group 5+1 sealed the six-month Joint Plan of Action to lay the groundwork for the full resolution of the West’s decade-old dispute with Iran over its nuclear energy program.
In exchange for Tehran’s confidence-building bid to limit certain aspects of its nuclear activities, the Sextet of world powers agreed to lift some of the existing sanctions against Tehran and continue talks with the country to settle all problems between the two sides.
After the US breached the deal, Zarif deplored the move, and said Tehran would show a well-assessed and goal-oriented reaction to any measure adopted by the world powers in violation of the deal.
“The Americans have taken improper measures in the last few days and we have given the appropriate response to them after considering all aspects of the issue,” Zarif said.
He stressed that Tehran is seriously pursuing the Geneva negotiations with the G5+1 (the five permanent UN Security Council members plus Germany), “and we will, of course, show proper, well-assessed, targeted and smart reaction to any improper and unconstructive measure (of the opposite side even if it doesn’t violate the Geneva agreement)”.
The expert meetings are held to devise mechanisms to implement the Geneva deal.
To support the negotiating team in talks with the world powers, the Iranian legislators have presented a draft bill to the Presiding Board of the parliament to require the government of President Hassan Rouhani to enrich uranium to the 60 percent grade in case the G5+1 violates the Geneva agreement.
The signatories of the draft bill reached the two-third quorum on Sunday.
Iran announced in April that it could start enriching uranium to the purity level of 50 percent if its research community declares a need to nuclear-fueled submarines, but meantime underlined that it is not enriching uranium over 20 percent of purity at present and has no such plans for future now.
“For now we have no plans for enrichment above 20 percent,” former Head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Fereidoun Abbasi said at the time, and added, “But in some cases … such as ships and submarines, if our researchers have a need for greater presence under the sea, we must build small engines whose construction requires fuel enriched to 45 to 56 percent.”
“In this case, it’s possible we would need this fuel.”
Meantime, the former Iranian nuclear chief stressed that the country did not have any plan then to work on enrichment levels above 20 percent, and reminded that the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has never reported enrichment activities at 50 percent of purity level in Iran, “because there has never been such a thing” in Iran.
This is not the first time Iran announces that it enjoys the technical know-how to enrich uranium to purity levels above 20 percent. Abbasi had first announced in July 2012 that Iran is in possession of the technical knowledge to produce the nuclear fuel needed for trade vessels and submarines.
“We have the capability to produce nuclear fuel for ships and submarines,” Abbasi said, and added, “But currently no plan to enrich uranium beyond 20 percent of enrichment is on our agenda.”
The AEOI has no difficulty to move towards such systems and technologies, once it becomes a matter of basic need and the government makes a decision about it, Abbasi stated.
Iranian military officials had also earlier informed that the country is designing a nuclear-fueled submarine.
In 2012, a senior Iranian Navy commander stressed Iran’s high capabilities in designing and manufacturing different types of submarines, and announced the country’s move towards manufacturing nuclear-powered submarines.
Speaking to FNA at the time, Lieutenant Commander of the Navy for Technical Affairs Rear Admiral Abbas Zamini pointed to the navy’s plan to manufacture super heavy nuclear-powered submarines, and stated, “Right now, we are at the initial phases of manufacturing atomic submarines.”
He noted Iran’s astonishing progress in developing and acquiring civilian nuclear technology for various power generation, agricultural and medical purposes, and said such advancements allow Iran to think of manufacturing nuclear-fueled submarines.
Admiral Zamini further reminded that using nuclear power to fuel submarines is among the civilian uses of the nuclear technology and all countries are, thus, entitled to the right to make such a use.
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