Iran’s Majlis Speaker Ali Larijani says negotiations between Tehran and the Western powers over the Islamic republic’s nuclear energy program can produce a result “in less than a year” if there is “seriousness” in the talks.
The speaker of the Iranian Parliament made the remarks in an interview with China’s Phoenix network in Tehran on Sunday, a day before he is about to leave for a visit to China, the Islamic Consultative Assembly News Agency (ICANA) reported.
“Resolving Iran’s nuclear issue is entirely dependent upon approaches. If a positive approach is dominant in the negotiations and there is seriousness, one could be hopeful about resolving the said issues in less than a year,” Larijani was quoted as saying.
Regarding his trip to China, the Majlis speaker said he was going to hold talks with Chinese authorities about “economic exchanges, cultural cooperation, and political consultation.”
Larijani stated that the Islamic Republic’s diplomacy towards the West would not overshadow Tehran’s relations with Beijing as the two countries have a “common and close outlook” of regional issues and have long been cooperating in various fields.
In mid-October, Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council — the United States, China, Russia, France and Britain — plus Germany held two days of negotiations over Tehran’s nuclear energy program behind closed doors in the Swiss city of Geneva.
The United States, Israel, and some of their allies have repeatedly accused Iran of pursuing non-civilian objectives in its nuclear energy program.
Iran rejects the allegations, arguing that as a committed signatory to the nuclear 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.
In addition, the IAEA has conducted numerous inspections of Iran’s nuclear facilities but has never found any evidence showing that Iran’s civilian nuclear program has been diverted to nuclear weapons production.