Senior lawmaker: Iran holding upper hand in N. talks

Chairman of National Security and Foreign Policy Committee of Iran's Parliament (Majlis) Alaeddin Boroujerdi

Chairman of National Security and Foreign Policy Committee of Iran’s Parliament (Majlis) Alaeddin Boroujerdi

TEHRAN (FNA)- Chairman of the Iranian parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Commission Alaeddin Boroujerdi underlined that Tehran now has the upper hand in the nuclear talks with the world powers, warning that any US intensified sanctions will be reciprocated by an increase in the pace of Iran’s nuclear activities.

Iran now holds the upper hand in its nuclear talks with the six world powers unlike 10 years ago when its position was not so strong, Boroujerdi said, addressing a ceremony in the Southern province of Bushehr on Thursday.

The parliament has ratified a bill, according to which if the US wants to intensify sanctions on Iran, the government has to proceed with nuclear activities with the same pace as before, he said.

Boroujerdi said that if there is a country that is to stand trial, it is the United States that has produced and tested so many atomic bombs.

Iran and the Group 5+1 (the US, Russia, China, France and Britain plus Germany) are negotiating to narrow their differences over Tehran’s nuclear energy program ahead of a July 1 deadline.

His comments came as Iranian and American teams of negotiators held several days of talks in Geneva late in February. Then after two days of negotiations, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, Head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Ali Akbar Salehi and President Rouhani’s brother and senior aide Hossein Fereidoun as well as US Secretary of State John Kerry and Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz joined their deputies in the talks.

Then Zarif traveled to Montreux, western Switzerland, last week for another three days of nuclear talks with Kerry.

Representatives of Iran and the Group 5+1 also had deputy-level negotiations over Tehran’s nuclear program in the city of Montreux following the Zarif-Kerry meeting.

The talks are expected to resume in Geneva on March 15. The same day, Zarif and Kerry plan to resume nuclear negotiations in the Swiss city of Lausanne.

Both Iran and the G5+1 negotiators have underlined that cutting a final deal before the July 10 deadline is possible.

In relevant remarks earlier this month, Zarif said there was still a good chance for the success of the nuclear talks between Tehran and the world powers, but meantime underlined that failure of the negotiations would never mean the end of world to Iran.

“There is still an over 50-percent chance for the attainment of an agreement and I feel that both sides believe that success and attainment of an agreement will be much better and useful than failure in the negotiations; yet, failure in reaching an understanding will not be the end of the world but both sides have spent their time and political prestige in the success of these talks,” Zarif said in an interview.

He stressed that the chances for the failure of the talks would be alive as long as agreement was not attained on all issues and details, and said, “As it was said in the Geneva agreement (November 2013), as long as an agreement is not made on all issues, nothing has been agreed on.”

Asked about the removal of the sanctions against Iran, Zarif said, “Removal of the UN Security Council sanctions aren’t complicated and merely depends on the political will (of the other side).”

By Fars News Agency