Publishe Date: 12:24 AM - 10/1/2013 | Print

Senior MP Slams Susan Rice for Denying Iran's Enrichment Right

Politics - Denying Iran's right to enrich uranium is equal to denying the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) which allows the member states to use peaceful nuclear technology to meet their needs, a senior Iranian legislator said, criticizing the Sunday remarks made by US National Security Adviser Susan Rice on Iran's right of nuclear enrichment.

"The NPT has enshrined the right of enrichment for Iran since over 40 years ago and the NPT's framework will be the orbit for Iran's movment in future," Chairman of the parliament's National Security and Foreign Policy Commission Alaeddin Boroujerdi was quoted as saying in an interview with Jomhouriat news-analysis website on Monday.

He referred to Susan Rice's attempts in an interview with the CNN to assuage the concerns of Israel by saying that US President Barack Obama had carefully chosen his words when he said that Iran had the right to use enriched uranium but not actively enrich uranium itself, and said, "Ms. Rice's recognition or non-recognition (of Iran's enrichment right) has not impact on Iran's decisions and our nation's rights are not determined based on the remarks of the White House officials."

He said that such remarks indicate that the US officials cannot be trusted due to their contradictory remarks.

Addressing the UN General Assembly meeting last week, Obama said the US wanted to resolve the nuclear issue peacefully, and added, "We are not seeking regime change, and we respect the right of the Iranian people to access peaceful nuclear energy."

"Instead, we insist that the Iranian government meet its responsibilities under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and UN Security Council resolutions," he added.

After Rice made the comments about Iran, US Secretary of State John Kerry said a deal on Iran's nuclear program could be reached relatively quickly, and it would have the potential to dramatically improve the relationship between the two countries. Kerry said intensifying diplomatic efforts to resolve the dispute over Iran's nuclear program could produce an agreement within the three- to six-month time frame that Iranian President Rouhani has called for.

"It's possible to have a deal sooner than that depending on how forthcoming and clear Iran is prepared to be," Kerry said in an interview aired on CBS's "60 Minutes" on Sunday. "If it is a peaceful program, and we can all see that - the whole world sees that - the relationship with Iran can change dramatically for the better and it can change fast," he said.

Rouhani and US President Barack Obama spoke by telephone on Friday in the highest-level contact between the two countries in three decades, raising hopes of a breakthrough in the Tehran-West nuclear standoff. The call was the culmination of a recent, dramatic shift in tone between Iran and the United States, which cut diplomatic relations a year after the 1979 Iranian revolution.

Kerry said Iran could prove its sincerity by immediately opening its nuclear facilities to inspections and keeping its uranium enrichment efforts at lower grades that were not suitable for military use. Iran has defended its right to enrich uranium as part of a civilian nuclear energy and medicine program and denied that it aims to develop atomic weapons.

"Iran needs to take rapid steps, clear and convincing steps, to live up to the international community's requirements regarding nuclear program, peaceful nuclear program," Kerry said. "Words are not going to replace actions," he said. "What we need are actions that prove that we and our allies, our friends in the region, can never be threatened by this program."

In a separate interview, Iran's foreign minister said the country's right to peaceful nuclear enrichment was not negotiable but it did not need to enrich uranium to military-grade levels. Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said Iran was willing to open its nuclear facilities to international inspections as part of a nuclear deal as long as the United States ended painful economic sanctions. "Negotiations are on the table to discuss various aspects of Iran's enrichment program. Our right to enrich is non-negotiable," Zarif told ABC's "This Week" program. "We do not need military-grade uranium. That's a certainty and we will not move in that direction," Zarif said. "Having an Iran that does not have nuclear weapons, is not just your goal, it's first and foremost our goal."

Zarif said Iran was willing to have its facilities visited by international inspectors to prove it was not seeking a nuclear bomb. "If the United States is ready to recognize Iran's rights, to respect Iran's rights and move from that perspective, then we have a real chance," Zarif said. "We are willing to engage in negotiations. The United States also needs to do things very rapidly. One is to dismantle its illegal sanctions against Iran," he said.


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