Rejecting US remarks on nuke program, Iran FM says Fordow, Arak are non-negotiable

Sherman, chief US negotiator to Iran nuke talks, questions need for some of Iran's most controversial sites.

February 5, 2014 19:20
1 minute read.
Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif in YouTube address, November 19, 2013.

Iranian FM Javad Zarif 370. (photo credit: YouTube Screenshot)


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Iran's foreign minister on Wednesday dismissed as "worthless" comments made by Chief US Negotiator to the talks with Iran Wendy Sherman, in which she questioned Iran's need to have some of its most controversial nuclear facilities.  

"Iran's nuclear technology is non-negotiable and comments about Iran's nuclear facilities are worthless and there is no need to negotiate or hold talks about them,"  AFP quoted Mohammad  Mohammad Javad Zarif as saying, citing Iranian media.

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"Those who know our peaceful objectives are also aware that we will not negotiate about our [nuclear] facilities," Zarif added.

Sherman made the remark at a US Senate hearing on Tuesday.

"We know that Iran does not need to have an underground, fortified enrichment facility like Fordow ... [or] a heavy-water reactor at Arak to have a peaceful nuclear program," she said.  

"Ms. Sherman should stick to the reality and stop speaking of impossible things even if it is only for domestic consumption ... since reaching a solution can be hindered by such words," Zarif said according to the report.

“The coming months will be a test of Iran’s intentions,” Sherman said at the Tuesday Senate hearing. 

Sherman defended the short-term nuclear agreement, reached in Geneva in November between Iran and world powers, a negotiation she led personally.

“This is not perfect,” she said, referring to the six-month pause that began on January 20, known formally as the Joint Plan of Action.

“But we agreed on a six-month program that freezes where they are, and rolls back their program in significant ways.”

The US would be willing to tolerate a “small, limited enrichment program,” Sherman added – a position that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu vehemently opposes.   

Michael Wilner contributed to this report.

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