Iran won’t accept any sanction to remain in place

Senior Iranian nuclear negotiator Seyyed Abbas Araqchi

Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister Seyed Abbas Araqchi said on October 25 that Iran will not accept any sanction to remain in place in the final and comprehensive deal with the P5+1 group of countries.

“Iran will not shut down any nuclear facility,” he said, adding that the country will keep all of its nuclear capabilities, Iran’s Fars news agency reported on October 25.

“The nuclear talks are difficult,” he said, noting that Tehran will never give up its nuclear rights.

Araqchi went on to note that reaching an agreement by the 24-November deadline is unlikely.

“Talking in the media instead of behind the negotiation table and announcing one side’s requests – which we find out to be excessive – to the public could never help the course of negotiations,” the Iranian diplomat said.

Araqchi made the remarks in reaction to the recent comments made by the US Under Secretary for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman.

Sherman said on Oct. 23 that Iran will be widely seen to be responsible if a comprehensive deal to curb its nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief is not reached, Reuters reported.

He also said major powers negotiating with Iran have offered it ideas that are “equitable, enforceable and consistent with Tehran’s expressed desire for a viable civilian nuclear program.”

Tehran and the P5+1 group of countries held a new round of expert level talks in the Austrian city of Vienna earlier this week.

Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Marzieh Afkham said on October 22 that 90 percent of the negotiations have been completed and the two sides are taking the final steps.

However, she said that the reaching agreement on the remaining issues is difficult.

According to Afkham, the two sides are not interested in extending the 24-November deadline set for striking a final and comprehensive deal.

Araqchi said on October 19 that progress has been made during the recent round of talks, but disagreements remain over key issues, Iran’s ISNA news agency reported.

“We have achieved progress in certain details but have not agreed upon crucial issues. Of course a great deal of work has been done and different proposals have been reviewed and discussed. We hope to achieve a result but there’s yet a long way to go,” he said.

He went on to note that Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, the outgoing EU Foreign Policy Chief Catherine Ashton, and US Secretary of State John Kerry will most likely hold another trilateral meeting in two weeks time.

Iran and P5+1 (the five permanent members of the UN Security Council comprising of China, France, Russia, Britain, the US plus Germany) sealed an interim deal in Geneva on November 24 to pave the way for the full resolution of the West’s decade-old dispute with Iran over the country’s nuclear energy program, Press TV reported.

The Geneva deal took effect on January 20 and expired on July 20. However, the two sides agreed to extend their talks for four months till Nov. 24 to reach a permanent deal on Iran’s disputed nuclear program.

In exchange for Iran agreeing to limit certain aspects of its nuclear activities, the US and its allies agreed to lift some of the existing sanctions against Tehran.

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