Iran's heavy-water production plant in Arak, southwest of Tehran..
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi said Tuesday that Iran would not “dismantle” any part of its nuclear program.
“Nothing will be stopped or dismantled in Iran’s nuclear program” and the country will “press ahead” with its current activities, said Araqchi, according to the Iranian Students’ News Agency.
He was quoted as saying that the Geneva deal reached with world powers in November has forced Iran to limit its enrichment.
On Monday, Araqchi said the deal does not mean that Iran would normalize relations with the US.
“We have fundamental disagreements with the US on different issues, including human rights, Palestine, hegemony, and so on,” he said. He added that the nuclear issue is just “one of the disagreements” where efforts are being made to “uphold the rights of the Islamic Republic of Iran,” Iran’s Mehr News reported.
“If they want to continue or restore sanctions on Iran under other excuses, it means they are violating the agreement,” he said.
An informed source told Iran’s Fars News Agency on Monday that Iran has no plans to give up its heavy water reactor in the city of Arak.
The source said that the “Arak reactor is the result of 30 years of efforts and Iran will not lose it, even under the most difficult conditions.”
Meanwhile, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Tuesday that Iran would not allow the Zionist regime to divert world attention away from their crimes against the Palestinians.
“In the past years, the Zionists have always tried to use Iran’s peaceful nuclear program as a pretext for diverting the attention of world public opinion and governments from their crimes in Palestine,” Zarif said in a meeting with Jibril Rajoub, a member of Palestinian Fatah’s Central Committee, according to a report by Iran’s Tasnim News Agency.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani reiterated on Tuesday, in a meeting with former UN secretary-general Kofi Annan, that his country’s nuclear program is peaceful, Tasnim reported.
Annan is in Tehran as part of a delegation of The Elders, which describes itself as an independent group of global leaders who work together for peace and human rights.
UN nuclear inspectors arrived in Iran on Tuesday to visit a uranium mine, Iranian media reported, as part of a cooperation pact meant to help allay international concern about the country’s nuclear program.
Wednesday’s planned inspection of the Gchine mine in southern Iran will be the first by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) at this site since 2005.
Separately, Iranian parliamentarians are to come to London in the next few months, the first such visit in years, as Iran and Britain try to improve their damaged relations, a spokesman for a group of British lawmakers said on Tuesday.