Publishe Date: 9:38 PM - 9/29/2013 | Print

Iran will not suspend enrichment: Deputy FM

Politics - Iran’s deputy foreign minister for legal and international affairs has ruled out the possibility that the Islamic Republic may halt its uranium enrichment activities.

“We have been insisting for 10 years that suspending enrichment is impossible,” Abbas Araqchi said on Saturday.

He added, however, that “the frameworks, level, volume, form and location of enrichment, can be the subject to negotiations.”

The Iranian official also said that the presence of Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton at the nuclear talks between the Islamic Republic and the six major world powers is certain. However, he said, the diplomatic level of the other participating delegations has not been determined yet.

Zarif and his counterparts from the six negotiating countries - China, Russia, France, Britain, the US and Germany - held discussions about Iran’s nuclear energy program in New York on September 26.

Following the talks, the Iranian foreign minister praised the negotiations as “very good and substantive” and said the result would have to include “a total removal” of all sanctions against Iran.

US Secretary of State John Kerry also said on Thursday that Washington could begin removing bans on Tehran within months if a “transparent process is in place” over Iran’s nuclear energy program.

Commenting on the ongoing crisis in Syria, Araqchi said Iran seeks a political resolution and national dialog between the Syrian government and “genuine opposition groups,” not the foreign-backed terrorists fighting inside the Arab country.

Araqchi added that Iran would support any political solution and agreement between the Syrian government and genuine opposition groups during the Geneva 2 conference.

On May 7, Russia and the US agreed in the Russian capital Moscow to convene an international conference on Syria, which will serve as a follow-up to an earlier Geneva meeting held in June 2012.

The date of the event, however, has not been determined yet as Syria’s foreign-backed opposition remains divided over taking part in the talks.

The Syrian government has already announced that it is ready to take part in the peace conference without any preconditions in an effort to help end over two years of deadly turmoil in the country.


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