Senior Iranian negotiators announced on Thursday that annulment of the oil and banking sanctions against Tehran is just part of the measures need to be taken by the Group 5+1 (the US, Russia, China, Britain and France plus Germany) as a first step in any probable deal with Iran.
“The (removal of) oil and banking sanctions will be part of the negotiations and measures of the other side in the first step,” Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister and senior negotiator in talks with major world powers Seyed Abbas Araqchi said in a press conference in Geneva on Thursday.
He said that if the US representative in talks with Iran, Wendy Sherman, or any other person has claimed that only a small part of the sanctions would be lifted, “they should be sure that we will also take few measures”.
Araqchi described last night talks between the Iranian and G5+1’s experts and deputy foreign ministers in Geneva as promising, and expressed the hope that the two sides can obtain results in their two-day talks which started on Wednesday.
His remarks came before Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton (who represents the delegations of the six world powers in the talks with Iran) started the second day of talks in Geneva on Thursday.
Sources close to the negotiators said that if the talks between Zarif and Ashton yield results, talks on the text of an agreement between Iran and the Group 5+1 (the US, Russia, Britain, France and China plus Germany) would start.
The two officials had also held talks on Wednesday to discuss the latest developments before the start of the high-profile Iran-G5+1 negotiations.
After holding talks with Ashton, Zarif said he held “good” negotiations with her, on the Iranian nuclear energy program in the Swiss city of Geneva.
“We talked about the trend of negotiations between Iran and the G5+1,” Zarif told reporters on Wednesday after meeting Ashton.
“We had a good conversation and discussed the ways we could continue this trend during these days of negotiations,” the top Iranian nuclear negotiator stated.
Ashton chaired a meeting of the E3/EU+3 Political Directors ahead of her bilateral meeting with the Iranian Foreign Minister on Wednesday.
Before the start of Geneva, the Iranian parliament issued a statement on Wednesday in support of Tehran’s peaceful nuclear activities, and warned the Group 5+1 to avoid killing time in their talks with Iran’s negotiating team.
Addressing the member-states of the Group 5+1, the Iranian lawmakers said, “If they want to turn the negotiations into an attrition and time-killing process, the Iranian parliament will take decisions based on the Iranian nation’s demands and will even reconsider its new cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).”
They said that they will monitor the trend of the negotiations between Iran and the Group 5+1, and reiterated on the Iranian nation’s nuclear rights.
Meantime, Iranian lawmakers plan to discuss approval of a bill in the next few days which will require the government of President Rouhani to protect the country’s nuclear rights in its negotiations with the world powers.
The 14-clause bill of the law has been presented to the legislature's presiding board and will be raised in an open session of the parliament in coming days.
The bill requires the government to continue development of sites and enrichment facilities, including Natanz enrichment facility, to produce fuel for powerful 1,000-megawatt nuclear reactors for the power plants the country plans to build to generate 20,000 megawatts of electricity through nuclear power.
It also demands the government to continue building and installing second and third-generation centrifuges to replace the country's first-generation centrifuge machines at Iran's uranium enrichment sites in a bid to enhance economic and industrial productivity of nuclear fuel production.
The bill also requires the government to continue depositing enriched uranium until having enough storage for the production of the nuclear fuel needed by every power plant of the country in three years.
It also urges continued exploration and development of uranium mines across the country according to the country's plans.
The bill underlines continued uranium enrichment at 20 percent-grade both to meet Iran's need to nuclear fuel for its research reactor in Tehran which produces radioisotopes for various medical purposes and for possible trade in the global market.
The bill will also necessitate the government to continue completion of Arak heavy water reactor.
It meantime requires the government to continue necessary cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
It also necessitates the government to take retaliatory measures against any of those states party to the nuclear talks with Iran which embarks on imposing sanctions or other unfriendly actions against Iranian bodies or individuals.
The bill also reiterates that any agreement with the demands of the parties to the nuclear talks with Iran should fall within the framework of the liabilities mentioned in the non-proliferation treaty (NPT).
All-out support and protection for nuclear scientists and experts, nuclear cooperation and interaction with independent and friendly nations, production and export of commercial nuclear products, specially nuclear medicines, and establishment and development of nuclear research centers and nuclear colleges as well as their equipment are among the other items mentioned in the bill.
The bill will be raised at the parliament in the next few days.