Nuclear negotiators achieved national pride: Salehi

Tehran, August 4, IRNA – Head of Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) said major part of path is already paved as nuclear negotiators’ mission is successfully accomplished, and they have ensured Iranian nation’s pride and grandeur.

In an interview with the Persian daily ‘Iran’, Vice President and head of the AEOI who accompanied the Iranian nuclear negotiation team from the end of the first year of the last 21 months elaborated on those talks, evaluating them as an absolute success for our country.

‘Secret talks between Iran and the United States on the nuclear dispute began in the year 2010 and several sessions of their talks were held till the 2013 Iranian presidential elections,’ he said.

The then Iranian foreign minister received the US message through Oman, reacted personally to it, transferred that message to the Supreme Leader, and conveyed the Leader’s response to Washington inclusive of a few conditions for beginning the negotiations, he added.

He said that in the beginning the Western side was creating new obstacles any time they met the Iranians and negotiations-for-negotiation’s-sake was apparently their approach.

‘They were also claiming that Iran was not serious in the negotiations and accused Mr. Jalili of trying to teach them history instead of focusing on major nuclear issues.’ He said that in the last two years, the six world powers’ three major demands were all related to the nuclear issue, inclusive of enrichment, the possible military dimension (PMD) and the sanctions issue.

Salehi said that after President Hassan Rouhani entered office, the Foreign Ministry was put in direct charge of the nuclear talks and as Iran’s ambassador in the IAEA, he was present in them, directly working with Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.

He said Omanis had told Iran that Senator John Kerry was going to become the US Secretary of State and President Rouhani knew well Zarif could perfectly well get engage in talks with him.

Saying that partial knowledge is more dangerous than ignorance, he praised President Rouhani’s full competence in observation of the system’s red lines and Foreign Minister Zarif’s high diplomatic expertise in the negotiations.

Salehi said that ever since he was the Iranian foreign minister, he believed the nuclear talks minus the Americans’ presence were useless and the authenticity of that belief was proved in recent talks.

‘Each of the six countries’ foreign ministers had their particular viewpoints and no other option than the Iran-US talks would have led to a tangible result,’ he said.

Salehi mentioned that after the Lausanne talks, it was noticed that prolonging of the negotiations and their repetitious expansion were not serving Iran’s interests and the Americans, too, had come up with the same conclusion.

‘During the last 48 hours of the negotiations in Vienna, the dam of incessant disputes was broken and no one could any longer stop the flowing of the resulting flood towards the talks’ success,’ he said.

Salehi said the result was quite satisfactory, a good agreement was achieved, and this agreement sets the foundation for beginning a new chapter in Iran’s relations with the world.