Iran does not recognize Israel as a state or the "red line" determined by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, Iranian nuclear negotiator and candidate in the Iranian presidential election Saeed Jalili told the Financial Times on Thursday.
The Iranian negotiator vowed to continue resisting the demands of the international community to halt production of 20% enriched uranium, and insisted the Islamic Republic only wants to enrich uranium for peaceful purposes, under the rights granted in the Non-Proliferation Treaty.
"We have said that what has been produced is for our domestic and pharmaceutical needs. [Western powers] see that the fuel is [produced] under the supervision of IAEA inspectors in Fordow and Natanz [enrichment facilities] and they see this is used for peaceful purposes," he said.
"We do not want anything beyond [Iran’s rights under] the NPT [Non-Proliferation Treaty]. We naturally expect to enjoy our rights under the NPT. The main question is why they [the major powers] do not recognize Iran’s right to uranium enrichment under the NPT," Jalili added.
Jalili also expressed confidence that if he were to be elected president in next month's election, he would not have any problem recovering the Iranian economy from the burden of sanctions imposed on it by Western nations.
"At least over the past few years when I have been carefully following the effects of sanctions, I see that they can be easily bypassed and turned into opportunities," he said.
He also harshly criticized the US, dismissing the possibility of holding direct talks with Washington to resolve the nuclear stalemate.
Explaining the distrust the Iranian people have to the Americans, Jalili accused Washington of supporting ousted Shah Mohammad-Reza Pahlavi after the 1979 Iranian Revolution, as well as supporting ousted Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein.
"The US has seriously obstructed the goals and wishes of the Islamic Republic and the Iranian nation, which cannot be denied... The Iranian nation’s behavior over the past 34 years shows that the US cannot do whatever it wants," he said.
He also accused the US of inconsistency in handling of the nuclear stalemate. "The US seriously opposed Iran’s nuclear program when they thought they had no rival in the world. But then they said they were seeking international consensus, but that did not succeed, either. Then again they went back to unilateral moves. This shows the US’s confusion," he said.
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