BEIRUT

Middle East

Rouhani: Nuclear talks 'only way' forward

Iran's President Hassan Rouhani addresses the audience during a meeting in Ankara June 10, 2014. (REUTERS/Umit Bektas)

TEHRAN: More negotiations are the only solution to Iran's decade-long nuclear standoff with the West, President Hassan Rouhani said Tuesday.

Rouhani's remarks were his first on the four-month extension until November of talks with world powers agreed in Vienna last week after the two sides said progress made so far was still short of a final breakthrough.

"Negotiations are the only way that is before us and we are hopeful of success in these negotiations," Rouhani was quoted as saying by the official IRNA news agency.

The five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council - Britain, China, France, Russia and the US - plus Germany, want to render Iran incapable of developing an atomic weapons capability.

In exchange, Iran wants painful sanctions choking its economy lifted, with negotiators insisting they also seek to preserve what Tehran calls its right to a civilian atomic program.

Influential Iranian MP Aladin Borujerdi also welcomed Sunday the four-month extension, saying it showed all sides "have the will to reach a comprehensive agreement."

The main sticking point in the negotiations is believed to be Iran's insistence on developing a uranium enrichment capacity that is far higher than what the West regards as acceptable.

Such capacity, Iran contends, would guarantee fuel for its sole nuclear power plant in Bushehr after the current supply contract with Russia expires in 2021.

The process of enriching uranium can produce fuel for reactors but also the core of a nuclear bomb if purified to higher levels. Iran has always denied that it is pursuing an atomic bomb.

The final say on Iran's nuclear activities and its negotiating decisions rests with supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the ultimate authority in the Islamic republic.

The U.N. atomic agency said Monday that Iran had eliminated all of its most sensitive nuclear material in line with an interim deal struck with the West last November and implemented in January.

As of July 20, Tehran had cut half its stock of 20-percent enriched uranium down to five-percent purity, while the rest was converted into uranium oxide, the International Atomic Energy Agency said.

Iran had also refrained from enriching above the five-percent level at any of its nuclear facilities, the IAEA report said, a finding that could lower international fears that Tehran still sought to build a bomb.

 

Recommended

Advertisement

Comments

Your feedback is important to us!

We invite all our readers to share with us their views and comments about this article.

Disclaimer: Comments submitted by third parties on this site are the sole responsibility of the individual(s) whose content is submitted. The Daily Star accepts no responsibility for the content of comment(s), including, without limitation, any error, omission or inaccuracy therein. Please note that your email address will NOT appear on the site.

Alert: If you are facing problems with posting comments, please note that you must verify your email with Disqus prior to posting a comment. follow this link to make sure your account meets the requirements. (http://bit.ly/vDisqus)

comments powered by Disqus
Summary

More negotiations are the only solution to Iran's decade-long nuclear standoff with the West, President Hassan Rouhani said Tuesday.

Rouhani's remarks were his first on the four-month extension until November of talks with world powers agreed in Vienna last week after the two sides said progress made so far was still short of a final breakthrough.

Iran has always denied that it is pursuing an atomic bomb.

The U.N. atomic agency said Monday that Iran had eliminated all of its most sensitive nuclear material in line with an interim deal struck with the West last November and implemented in January.


Advertisement

FOLLOW THIS ARTICLE

Interested in knowing more about this story?

Click here