Iran rules out pulling out of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) but insists it will not abandon the right to peaceful nuclear technology.
In an interview with France 24 TV news channel, Iranian ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Ali Asghar Soltanieh said the country is determined to continue its nuclear energy programme under the UN agency’s control.
Asked about the possibility of Iran's withdrawal from the NPT, Soltanieh recalled how the Islamic Republic has remained committed to its international obligations despite sanctions, war threats and even the assassination of its nuclear scientists.
He vowed Iran will not abandon its “inalienable” right to nuclear technology while it will continue to cooperate with the IAEA and not pull out of the NPT.
The Iranian official rejected remarks indicating that US-led Western pressure on the country to halt its nuclear activities has yielded fruit, saying the claim is "a serious mistake and a serious miscalculation.”
He noted that the involvement of the UN Security Council and its US-engineered sanctions have just prompted Iranians to more seriously pursue their nuclear energy program and speed up their efforts.
Soltanieh condemned Israeli war threats against Iran as a violation of international laws, particularly the resolution 533 of 1990 in the general conference of the IAEA, which prohibits “all armed attacks against nuclear installations devoted to peaceful purposes whether under construction or in operation.”
He called on the world to condemn Israel’s war rhetoric as an infringement of international law jeopardizing the peaceful use of nuclear energy, reminding that any strike against nuclear installations could lead to a radiation disaster beyond borders.
The ambassador reiterated Tehran’s stance on negotiations as the right solution to the West’s nuclear standoff with Iran, adding that Tehran has always called on other parties to join negotiations, rather than take the path of confrontation.
“The Islamic Republic of Iran has always called for negotiations without any conditions, and equal footing based on mutual respect,” he said.
Soltanieh said “the attitude and conduct of the Western countries and their miscalculations have created a complicated situation,” and called for an end to the West’s “carrot and stick” policy toward the Islamic Republic.
“This is a time to change their attitude and conduct…they have been using the language and the policy of carrot and stick, or sanctions and negotiations -- these are a sort of neo-colonialist mentality,” he urged.
“They have to talk and have a different approach: let’s negotiate and talk in a civilized manner and a respectful manner. That is the only way for a solution to the nuclear issue.”