Araqchi: Iran's Rights Are Red Lines in Nuclear Talks

May 18, 2014

Weapon Program: 

  • Nuclear
  • Missile

Mentioned Suspect Entities & Suppliers: 

A senior member of Iran's nuclear negotiating team said reducing the Arak power plant's capacity is ridiculous and the nature of the heavy water power plant should not change.

Abbas Araqchi continued that maintaining Iran's rights are the red lines of the negotiation.

In a live interview with IRIB TV Channel 2, Araqchi described the 4-day negotiations between Iran and the P5+1 group in Vienna and said that since the beginning, he knew that these talks would be very difficult and that the viewpoints of the two sides are not close to each other.

He noted that to reach the final agreement we need text, time, discussion, dialogue, and more initiatives, and that in the past three rounds of talks we tried to discuss general issues and to make our viewpoints closer to each other.

Araqchi explained that in the past three rounds basics were discussed and since now are facing many different issues in order to reach the final agreement, there will need to be more discussion.

He stressed that we thought we could enter into the phase of compiling the final agreement text, but differences in a number of issues still remain.

In the past 4 days, intensive talks at all levels, including between Zarif and Ashton, their deputies, and experts were held bilaterally, trilaterally, and multilaterally in order to bring viewpoints closer to each other, Araqchi said.

Referring to the other side's concerns about the Arak power plant, the Deputy Foreign Minister for Legal and International Affairs said that we believe it is possible to remove the concerns by using technology and that we can produce plutonium at a minimized leve, but maintain the nature of the heavy water power plant.

The issues in our discussion with the P5+1 group now are how to remove the concerns and implement the changes.

He said decreasing the capacity of the Arak power plant, which is currently 40 megawatts, is ridiculous.

The senior diplomat reiterated that our red line in the negotiation is maintaining Iranians' rights on the issue of nuclear energy, that this is one of our principles in the talks with the P5+1, and that enrichment should continue.

Araqchi said that Iran's red line in the negotiations is Iranians' rights.

In an interview with IRIB TV Channel 2 on Saturday evening, Araqchi underlined maintaining the Iranian nation's rights, continuing enrichment, not sending materials outside the country, and maintaining the nature of the Arak heavy water power plant.

He added that we will try to reach a final agreement upon our redlines, but if we do not succeed, it would not be a disaster. The Geneva agreement is valid until July 21, 2014 and if we reach a final agreement it would be very good and if not we will continue our efforts.

Meanwhile, we do not allow issues to be imposed against us, the senior diplomat continued.

He said that although negotiations are hard, but if they move in the right and the other side has good intention and is realistic, it is possible to reach a final agreement.

The senior member of Iran's nuclear negotiating team underlined that no one can limit Iran's scientific progress in the nuclear field because science and technology belong to Iran.

Concerning the PMD issue (military use of nuclear energy), Araqchi said that we should make a distinction between a country's defensive programs and the issue of PMD and that the defensive programs are not on the agenda of the nuclear negotiations and won't be in the future.

He added that Iran had an agreement with IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano in his visit to Iran last year that the issue would be considered step-by-step, and we gave clear answers to claims they made.

Concerning the six-month extension of talks, Araqchi noted that the issue needs to be renegotiated, but currently none of the sides are interested in thinking about the issue and if we cannot reach an agreement in the remaining time, we will have a technical dialogue.

Araqchi continued that we have not seen any indication that the other side is not serious in the talks, but we are observing all behaviors with pessimism.

He mentioned that Catherine Ashton is responsible for coordination among the negotiating countries and that when one of the member states is opposed to an issue, which happened with the Geneva agreement, Ashton restarted the talks again after 10 days by coordinating among the member states.