Iranian President Hassan Rouhani underscored that the country will not trade its principles for reaching a nuclear agreement with the world powers.
“Our political experience tells us that a country cannot make constant growth in isolation but this doesn’t mean that we withdraw from our principles and causes,” Rouhani said, addressing the first forum on ‘Iran’s Economy’ in Tehran on Sunday.
“Common threats, opportunities and interests are the bases of foreign policy discussions and principles and causes are not discussed in foreign policy,” he added.
Rouhani stressed that the nuclear talks between Iran and the Group 5+1 (the US, Russia, China, Britain and France plus Germany) is meant to bridge the gap between the two sides to provide for each other’s demands.
Tehran and the G5+1 agreed to extend negotiations until July 1 after they failed to reach an agreement on a number of key issues.
Late last month, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif underlined that Tehran wants a full removal of all sanctions if there is to be a deal with the world powers.
Zarif in separate letters to his counterparts in the world states in December reiterated that any nuclear deal with the world powers should include annulment of all sanctions against Tehran.
“… lifting of all sanctions, is an essential component of any agreement. But some members of P5+1 (the five permanent UN Security Council members plus Germany) have become increasingly reluctant to abandon this counterproductive, illegal and inhuman instrument of coercion even at the expense of putting in jeopardy the entire process that provides certainty and assures transparency,” Zarif said.
He briefed his counterparts on the latest developments in the negotiations between the Islamic Republic of Iran and the G5+1 on Iran’s peaceful nuclear program.
“My delegation has engaged in these talks with the firm mandate and strong political will to reach a comprehensive agreement. We have clearly demonstrated that we are prepared to accept a rational and fair agreement based on mutual respect and interest, in the same manner as we resist and reject arbitrary, degrading and unlawful demands. We have tried to be creative and innovative and have offered solutions,” he added.
“In our Joint Plan of Action, we envisaged a common goal for these negotiations: To reach a mutually-agreed long term comprehensive solution that would ensure Iran’s nuclear program will be “exclusively peaceful” and “would produce the comprehensive lifting of all UN Security Council sanctions, as well as multilateral and national sanctions related to Iran’s nuclear program,” the Iranian foreign minister said.
“Achieving the first objective is not difficult, because Iran does not want or need nuclear weapons. In our view, nuclear weapons are obsolete tools of the past, incapable of providing external security or internal stability. This is especially the case for Iran, which is content with its size, geography, natural resources and human capital, and has not started a single war in the past three centuries. A sober strategic assessment will show that nuclear weapons are detrimental to Iran’s security,” Zarif said.
“Iran also has a solid track record of opposing all WMDs on religious grounds. Ayatollah Khamenei, like his predecessor Imam Khomeini, declared that all WMDs are strictly forbidden by Islam. For this reason, Iran did not use chemical weapons even in retaliation when Saddam Hussein gassed our troops and civilians on a scale not seen since the First World War,” he added.
“Moreover, “practical limits” envisaged by JPOA preclude arbitrary limits, which seek to shrink Iran’s enrichment to a token program. Such is neither practical nor realistic,” part of the letter said.
“The second objective envisaged by JPOA, namely the lifting of all sanctions, is an essential component of any agreement. But some members of P5+1 have become increasingly reluctant to abandon this counterproductive, illegal and inhuman instrument of coercion even at the expense of putting in jeopardy the entire process that provides certainty and assures transparency. Obsession with sanctions has not only obstructed a comprehensive long-term agreement, but also prevented the West from regaining the confidence of the Iranian people even after the adoption of JPOA. While Iran has shown its good faith by completely fulfilling its part of the bargain under the deal, the US and EU have adopted more measures to maintain and strengthen the sanctions regime than to live up to their sanction-easing commitments,” the Iranian foreign minister pointed out.
“I am confident that a comprehensive agreement is imminently within reach. It requires foresight, political will and recognition of realities by our negotiating partners as well as the audacity to make the right choice benefitting the entire global community rather than succumbing to the whims of vocal, but increasingly unpopular, pressure groups and special interests,” the Iranian foreign minister concluded.