Iran to continue uranium enrichment: Top negotiator


A senior Iranian nuclear negotiator says the Islamic Republic will move ahead with its uranium enrichment work to meet the country’s industrial needs.

“Iran’s [uranium] enrichment will continue. This issue has been agreed upon by both sides,” Abbas Araqchi said on Saturday, referring to Tehran and six world powers discussing Iran’s nuclear energy program.

He said the nuclear negotiations between Iran and the P5+1 group of world powers are focused on determining the level, extent and capacity of uranium enrichment as well as the time span for Iran to produce industrial-scale enriched uranium.

Araqchi, who is also deputy foreign minister for legal and international affairs, said Iran’s needs would decide the extent of enrichment.

Touching on the issue of anti-Iran sanctions, Araqchi said Iran seriously seeks the lifting of all sanctions slapped on the Islamic Republic.

“We continue to believe that all the sanctions must be lifted and we do not accept any instance of sanctions to remain in place,” he said, adding that the negotiations are under way to work out an “acceptable” mechanism for the lifting of the entire sanctions.

Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council – France, Britain, the US, Russia, and China – plus Germany have been holding talks to work out a final deal aimed at ending the longstanding standoff over the Islamic Republic’s nuclear energy program. The two sides have set November 24 as the deadline to reach the deal.

Iran and the six other countries are set to open a new round of nuclear talks in Muscat, Oman, on November 11.

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