Iran rules out discussing defense topic in N-talks
Press TV -(Wed Apr 9, 2014) Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif says Iran will not allow its defensive military program to be tied to the nuclear talks with the six world powers.
“We emphasize that topics that have to do with Iran’s defense program have no place in these negotiations,” Zarif told Iranian reporters in Vienna on Wednesday, the Fars News Agency reported.
He said Iran will continue its civilian nuclear activity and nothing could be imposed on the Islamic Republic in this regard.
He stressed the peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear energy program and reiterated Tehran’s willingness to allay “reasonable” concerns regarding its nuclear activity.
The Iranian top diplomat made the remarks following the third round of nuclear talks between Tehran and the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council — the United States, France, Britain, Russia and China — plus Germany.
The talks were the latest in the series of negotiations aimed at hammering a comprehensive agreement following last November’s interim nuclear deal on Tehran’s nuclear energy program.
Following the Wednesday talks, Zarif and European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton held a joined press conference.
The two sides have agreed to resume their negotiations on May 13.
Iran and the Sextet of world powers reached the interim deal on November 24, 2013, in the Swiss city of Geneva. The deal took effect on January 20.
Under the Geneva deal, the six countries undertook to provide Iran with some sanctions relief in exchange for Iran agreeing to limit certain aspects of its nuclear activities during a six-month period. It was also agreed that no nuclear-related sanctions would be imposed on Iran within the same timeframe.
On Wednesday, Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei said Iran’s nuclear research and development activities will never stop.