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Iran ready to allay concerns over nuclear energy program: Zarif


Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif says Iran is ready to address concerns over the country’s nuclear energy program without retreating from Iran’s fundamental rights.

“Regarding the nuclear rights of the Iranian people, we are standing firm; but at the same time, we are ready to allay the existing concerns,” said Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on Tuesday.

“The world can rest assured that Iran is not seeking nuclear weapons and this [policy] underpins the interests of our establishment and country,” he said.

Zarif argued that the US should demonstrate “the same political resolve” as that of Iran’s in order for the dispute over Iran’s nuclear energy program to be resolved.

As Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei and President Hassan Rouhani have pointed out, said Zarif, “if there is political resolve for the issue, it can be resolved very easily.”

The top Iranian diplomat then touched upon Tehran’s transparent positions on its nuclear energy program, saying, “Whoever sees Iran as a regional and influential power will be able to see that we do not need nuclear arms.”

Commenting on the pressure exerted by Zionists on US President Barack Obama and Congress following the election of President Rouhani, Zarif noted that the Zionist lobby in the US is currently concerned over a reduction of tensions regarding Iran’s nuclear dossier and the settlement of the issue.

He stressed that those groups that have raised a hype over Iran’s nuclear energy program and turned it into an international issue are now in the position of weakness, adding that Iran and the US should seize the opportunity to resolve the issue.

“Iran and the US have different views about various issues and our relations have always been marked by a sort of rivalry and, in some cases, even tensions,” Zarif said.

The Iranian foreign minister pointed to the pressure by certain lobby groups on the White House and said, “It is Mr. Obama’s problem how he is going to counter the pressure exerted on him and the Congress from within the country (the US), but I am also of the opinion that the US has been provided with a very limited opportunity and it should seize the chance,” the diplomat said.

The US, Israel and some of their allies falsely claim that Iran is pursuing non-civilian objectives in its nuclear energy program, with Washington and the European Union using the unfounded allegation as a pretext to impose illegal sanctions on Iran.

Tehran strongly rejects the groundless claim over its nuclear activities, maintaining that as a committed signatory to the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), it has the right to use nuclear technology for peaceful purposes.

Zarif also rejected the speculations that a recent visit to Tehran by Omani ruler Sultan Qaboos was partly aimed at exchanging messages between Iran and the US, and underlined that Oman is just using its “good offices” to improve the international situation.

“Since Iran and the US have no direct ties with each other, when our friends travel to Iran, they usually discuss their perceptions of the US officials’ points of view and, obviously, convey their understanding of the viewpoints of the Iranian high-ranking officials to them (US officials) at suitable opportunities,” he said, adding that this cannot be referred to as an act of taking and relaying messages, but is rather using one’s good offices.

Sultan Qaboos arrived in Tehran at the head of a high-ranking delegation on a three-day official visit on Sunday as the first head of state to visit Iran since President Rouhani took office on August 4, 2013.

He held talks with Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei and Rouhani.

Commenting on a recent visit to Tehran by United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman, Zarif noted that although Feltman is American, he met Iranian officials “wearing a UN envoy’s hat” and “we have no direct talks with US officials.”

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