TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — President Hassan Rouhani said a final nuclear deal is “within reach” as Iran and six world powers face a June 30 deadline for an agreement.
Rouhani told a press conference Saturday that negotiations between Iran and the six-nation group – the U.S., Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany – are making progress, although some gaps still remain.
“If the other party respects the rights of the Iranian nation and our national interests and doesn’t seek excessive demands, I believe a deal is within reach,” he told reporters.
Rouhani said Iran will allow inspections of its nuclear facilities but vowed that the Islamic republic won’t allow its state “secrets” to be jeopardized under the cover of international inspections.
“Iran will not allow that its state secrets be put at the disposal of others under the pretext of additional protocol. It’s definite that we won’t allow it,” he said.
Rouhani was addressing a news conference on the second anniversary of his election. He won the presidency with a campaign that promised he would work to lift international economic sanctions and end Iran’s international isolation.
He said Saturday that he remains committed to his plan of “constructive engagement” with the outside world.
Negotiators reached a framework agreement in early April to curb Iran’s nuclear program in return for the lifting of economic sanctions. The deal is to be finalized by a self-imposed deadline of June 30.
Iran has agreed to grant United Nations inspectors “managed access” to military sites as part of a future deal, including letting them take environmental samples in the vicinity of military bases. But Rouhani and others have repeatedly stated that international inspectors will not be allowed to conduct inspections on the grounds of military sites.
By The Associated Press