TEHRAN (FNA)- Iran announced on Wednesday that changes could still be made to the April 2 nuclear statement that was issued by Tehran and the world powers at the end of their several-day-long negotiations in the Swiss city of Lausanne.
“Mr. (Seyed Abbas) Araqchi (the Iranian deputy foreign minister and senior nuclear negotiator) has stated in an interview before that certain paragraphs (of the Lausanne statement) could still change and go under further negotiations,” Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Marziyeh Afkham told reporters in Tehran today.
She reminded the Americans’ confession that they had no way out but accepting Iran’s nuclear rights, and dismissed US officials’ allegations about use of force or repetition of the phrase “all options are on the table” as “hollow claims” used repeatedly against Iran.
Her remarks came after US Secretary of Defense Ash Carter claimed in an interview with the CNN earlier this month that the current framework for a deal with Iran did not take the military option off the table and that bunker busting bombs, meant to penetrate Iran’s underground facilities, are “ready to go”, adding that a deal with Iran would not be based on “trust” but on “verification”.
Elsewhere, Afkham referred to the new round of nuclear talks between Tehran and the Group 5+1 (the US, Russia, China, Britain and France plus Germany) which is due to start in the Austrian city of Vienna today to touch the details of a possible final nuclear agreement, and said the negotiations focus on removal of sanctions and inspection of Iran’s sites.
In relevant remarks on Wednesday, Araqchi said that the fresh round of the nuclear talks between Tehran and the six major world powers, which is to be held on April 22-24 in Vienna, would mainly focus on details of lifting the sanctions on Iran.
Araqchi, who is also a senior member of the Iranian nuclear negotiating team, stressed that removal of multilayer sanctions which Iran has consistently dubbed as ‘unlawful and unjust’ had been Iran’s main demand throughout the negotiations.
“As we return to negotiations this week, we will seek explanation from the US team and greater clarity regarding all detailed aspects of sanction removal,” he underlined.
On Tuesday, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif wrote on his Facebook page that his colleagues are to start the process of drafting the agreement between Iran and the G5+1 on the following day.
After nine days of hard work in Lausanne, Switzerland, Iran and the G5+1 reached an understanding on April 2 which laid the ground for them to start drafting the final nuclear deal over Tehran’s nuclear energy program ahead of a July 1 deadline.
Reading out a joint statement at a press conference with EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini in Lausanne on April 2, Zarif said according to the agreement, all the US, EU and UN Security Council sanctions against Iran would be lifted under the final deal.
“Our decision today that will be the agreed base for the final text of the Joint Plan of Action (the final deal) is of vital importance,” Zarif said, reading the joint statement at the press conference.
“Now we can start drafting the final agreement and its annexations by relying on the solutions achieved in the last few days,” he said after eight days of marathon talks with negotiators from the six world powers.
“As Iran continues its peaceful nuclear program, the degree and capacity of its enrichment and the size of its (enriched uranium) stockpile will be limited for specific periods and Natanz will be the only enrichment center in Iran. Nuclear enrichment R&D on centrifuge machines in Iran will be conducted on the basis of an agreed timeline and level.”
Zarif said Fordo would turn from a nuclear enrichment plant to a nuclear, physics and technological center, where Iran will receive international cooperation.
The Iranian foreign minister also said the country’s Arak Heavy Water Reactor would remain in place after being redesigned and renovated through international cooperation, stressing that the facility would remain a Heavy Water Reactor in nature, but would produce plutonium which wouldn’t have the capability to be used for nuclear weapons production.
He said “there won’t be any reprocessing at the Arak facility and its consumed nuclear fuel will be sent” abroad.
“A collection of arrangements have been agreed for supervising the implementation of the contents of the Joint Plan of Action (final deal) which will include Safeguard Code 3.1 and voluntary implementation of the Additional Protocol (to the NPT); the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) will also use modern inspection technologies and will be given more agreed access to verify past and present issues,” Zarif said.
He said Iran would partner in international nuclear projects, “including power plant and research reactor construction as well as nuclear safety and security”.
Zarif stressed that all sanctions against Iran will be lifted.
He said all UN Security Council sanctions resolution against Iran would be annulled as they did not help the settlement of the nuclear standoff between Iran and the six world powers.
“The EU will terminate imposition of its nuclear-related economic and financial sanctions and the United States will also stop implementation of its nuclear-related financial and economic sanctions simultaneous with the implementation of Iran’s major nuclear undertakings in a way that they are verified by the IAEA,” Zarif said.
Zarif said the final deal would be endorsed by a UN Security Council resolution in a move to annul all the previous nuclear-related resolutions against Iran.
He said drafting of the deal would start soon to prepare the Joint Plan of Action by the July 1 deadline.