Iran will not bow to threats: Rowhani
Iran will not stop its uranium enrichment programme, President Hassan Rowhani told the Parliament on Sunday, even as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu urged world powers not to rush into signing a “dangerous” deal with Iran, and ease sanctions while Tehran continued uranium enrichment.
Rowhani said: “For us, red lines are not to be crossed. The rights of the Iranian nation and [our] national interests are our red lines; and those rights include nuclear rights within the framework of international law, as well as enrichment on Iranian soil,” according to Press TV.
“Sanctions, threats, contempt and discrimination” would not be effective, he said. The Islamic Republic “will not bow to threats by any power.” Early Sunday, the five UN veto powers and Germany failed to agree on an initial nuclear deal with Iran that would have asked for mutual concessions, after three days of highlevel talks in Geneva.
A new round of talks to clinch a temporary deal on halting parts of Iran’s nuclear programme in return for suspension of some sanctions was scheduled for November 20-21 in Geneva.
Talks with IAEA
Meanwhile the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Yukiya Amano, was to hold talks in Tehran Monday with high-ranking Iranian officials. They plan to sign an agreement to lay out future technical cooperation.
Iran has been demanding that embargoes be lifted on oil exports and the banking sector, and it would especially like to see those sanctions suspended that most directly affect the general public.
Rowhani described the sanctions as “illegal and inefficient.” Netanyahu warned against easing sanctions without receiving enough in return.
He said he spoke with US President Barack Obama, Russian President Vladimir Putin, French President Francois Hollande, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and British Prime Minister David Cameron via telephone this weekend.
“I told them that according to all the information that is reaching Israel, the deal in the works is bad and dangerous,” he told his cabinet meeting in southern Israel.
Easing the pressure “that took years to build,” while Tehran remained capable of enriching uranium would be mistake.
“I emphasize that in the deal that is being proposed, not even one centrifuge will be dismantled,” Netanyahu warned.
“I asked all the leaders, ‘what is the hurry?’” he said, adding that he urged them to “wait and weigh” the “historic decision” they were facing.
In the deal discussed this week in Geneva, the six countries aimed to halt Iran’s current efforts to enrich uranium to 20 per cent.
Since Iran’s covert nuclear programme came to light 10 years ago, the six countries have been trying to negotiate a halt to Tehran’s atomic activities, fearing that they are part of a nuclear weapons programme.
Iran has repeatedly said that it only needs the technology to make electricity and for other civilian uses.
The six are concerned that such material can easily be used in a nuclear warhead, while Iranian leaders insist the uranium will only fuel a research reactor.
The diplomatic drive has opened a rift between the United States and Israel, which is convinced that Iran is seeking atomic weapons that endanger Israel’s existence.