February 18, 2014


Iran won't discuss military programme, say officials (Saeed Kamali Dehghan and Ian Black, 18 February 2014, The Guardian)

Zarif and another senior Iranian negotiator, Abbas Araqchi, said in separate interviews that the Vienna talks will be limited to Iran's nuclear activities, apparently dismissing calls from Israel and the US for Tehran's missile industry to be on the table.

"The criterion for the Vienna talks is the joint plan of action [the interim agreement], and no subject outside that framework could be on the agenda," Araqchi said, according to Iranian media.

Zarif has echoed Araqchi by saying: "As Iran's nuclear program has nothing to do with the military issues, the military issues have nothing to do with the nuclear program either." [...]

The IAEA chief, Yukiya Amano, also met with Zarif in Vienna On Tuesday. Earlier in the week he signalled that one sticking point in the talks was for Iran to sign the IAEA additional protocol which allows unannounced inspections of nuclear or suspect sites.

"The implementation of the Additional Protocol is very important to provide assurance that all nuclear activity in Iran is for a peaceful purpose but we are not yet at that point," he told the news website Breaking Defense on Monday.

Before the talks began, Zarif insisted Iran had the political will to reach a deal.

"We believe we can reach an agreement and we have come here with the political will to reach a final agreement," Zarif said on Monday after meeting the EU foreign policy chief, Catherine Ashton, for dinner in Vienna.

Posted by at February 18, 2014 5:25 PM

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