Iran Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif says the Islamic Republic will continue to enrich uranium to 20 percent purity in order to power its nuclear research reactor.
Speaking at a press conference in Johannesburg, South Africa, on Thursday, Zarif was reacting to reports that the Islamic Republic has stopped 20-percent enrichment.
He added that Iran’s 20-percent enrichment will be under the supervision of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
The Iranian foreign minister also stated that Tehran will push ahead with nuclear talks with world powers “with good faith” and “with determination to reach understanding and with hope to reach an understanding at an early stage.”
Zarif’s remarks coincided with the second day of expert-level talks between Iran and six major world powers in the Austrian capital, Vienna.
Iran’s seven-member team of experts is led by Hamid Ba’eedinejad, the Iranian Foreign Ministry’s director general for political affairs.
Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for International and Legal Affairs Abbas Araqchi said on Sunday that experts from Iran’s Oil Ministry, Roads and Urban Development Ministry, and the Ministry of Industry, Mine and Trade as well as the Central Bank of Iran and the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) have attended the talks.
Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council – Britain, China, France, Russia and the US – plus Germany held two days of negotiations over Tehran’s nuclear energy program in Geneva, Switzerland, on October 15-16. The two sides agreed to have expert-level talks before meeting again in the Swiss city on November 7-8.
Iran and the IAEA are also engaged in ongoing talks. The two sides wrapped up two days of negotiations on Tuesday in Vienna, which was described afterwards by both sides as “very productive.”