A senior Iranian official says reports on the number of uranium enrichment centrifuges Tehran seeks to settle on as part of a final nuclear deal with the P5+1 are mere “foreign media speculations.”
“All the figures which are reported on the number of centrifuges are the figment of the imagination of some foreign media,” Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Legal and International Affairs Abbas Araqchi in a news conference on Thursday.
Araqchi, who is a top nuclear negotiator, added that certain foreign media outlets seek to ruin the climate of talks between Iran and the P5+1 – Russia, China, France, Britain, the US and Germany – and create tensions, and therefore they do not deserve attention.
The Iranian deputy foreign minister further expressed hope that Iran the six countries can manage to resolve their difference and work out a final accord on Tehran’s nuclear energy program before a July 20 deadline.
A Thursday report by Reuters cited “a Western diplomat” as saying that “Iran has reduced the number of centrifuges it wants.” According to the report, diplomats claimed that the Islamic Republic had signaled it would settle for a lower figure than 50,000 centrifuges.
The comments by Araqchi come as Iran and its negotiating partners formally kicked off the sixth round of nuclear talks in the Austrian capital of Vienna on Thursday to discuss a permanent accord aimed at ending the Western dispute over Tehran’s nuclear activities.
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif wrote on his Facebook page on Thursday that Western media speculations on the nuclear discussions between Tehran and the P5+1 should not be taken seriously as they attempt to influence the negotiations instead of reporting the events.