Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
DUBAI - Iran's President Hassan Rouhani said on Saturday he would not put state secrets at risk in the country's nuclear negotiations, becoming the latest senior official to express reservations about intrusive inspections sought by world powers.
The question of inspectors' access to Iran's nuclear sites and military bases is a major sticking point in the nuclear negotiations between Iran and world powers, which are aiming to strike a deal by June 30.
"Iran will absolutely not allow its national secrets to fall into the hands of foreigners through the Additional Protocol or any other means," Rouhani said in a televised news conference, referring to a mechanism that would allow for more intrusive inspections of Iranian sites.
Rouhani did not rule out implementing such an additional protocol, noting that other countries that are signatories to the nuclear non-proliferation treaty have done so without any problem. But he insisted that Iran should not face especially intrusive measures.
US and French diplomats have called for Iran to accept stringent measures, including access to its military sites and inspections on as little as two hours notice.
Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who has the final word on Iran's foreign and security policy, has ruled out several requests by the West, including on interviewing its nuclear scientists and "extraordinary supervision measures".