US wants ‘assurances’ from Iran about nuclear activities
US Undersecretary of State Wendy Sherman says Iran should take “actions” to assure that its nuclear program is peaceful, despite numerous reports by the UN atomic agency asserting that Iranian nuclear facilities have never deviated toward weaponization.
“Iran must take actions that assure the international community that its program is exclusively peaceful, and it will not acquire a nuclear weapon,” Sherman said during a news conference with Chilean Undersecretary Edgardo Riverosin in Chile’s capital, Santiago, on Tuesday.
She expressed hope that Iran would make “difficult decisions” to give such an assurance to the international community.
“If they do, their isolation will end. Sanctions will be suspended and ultimately lifted and we will have a more peaceful and stable world,” Sherman added.
Sherman, who is the chief US negotiator in nuclear talks with Iran, is currently on a tour of South American countries.
Her remarks about assurances from Iran come despite the fact that Iran’s nuclear activities are under 24/7 surveillance by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), whose numerous inspections have never found any evidence supporting the allegation that the nuclear activities of Iran have non-civilian purposes.
Meanwhile, experts from Iran and the P5+1 are scheduled to resume a fresh round of technical talks over the Iranian nuclear energy program in Vienna on Wednesday. They will discuss the level of uranium enrichment in Iran, the process of the total removal of the sanctions against the Islamic Republic and the duration of a final nuclear agreement over Iran’s nuclear energy program.
Sources close to the Iranian negotiating team say the main stumbling block in the way of resolving Western disputes over Iran’s nuclear energy program remains to be the removal of all sanctions and not the number of centrifuges or the level of enrichment.
Tehran wants the sanctions entirely lifted while the US, under pressure from the pro-Israeli lobby, insists that at least the UN-imposed sanctions against Iran should remain in place.