Iran won’t sign nuclear deal ‘at any price’
Tehran denies it wants nuclear weapons, insisting it is pursuing atomic energy purely for peaceful purposes
Iran is committed to securing a nuclear agreement with world powers but will not sign one “at any price”, its negotiators said Monday, as a key deadline for Tehran nears.
Iran and the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany - known as P5+1 - signed an interim deal last November and are in discussions to secure a more permanent accord.
The target date for a final deal has been put back to November 24.
“We are entering with goodwill into further negotiations with the P5+1 group and we want to reach an agreement... but we are not willing to pay any price,” ISNA news agency quoted Majid Takht-Ravanchi, one of Iran's main negotiators, as saying.
“If the other side also show goodwill we can reach an agreement by November 24,” he added.
By August 25 Tehran must also respond to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on decade-old allegations of past nuclear weapons research..
Tehran denies it wants nuclear weapons, insisting it is pursuing atomic energy purely for peaceful purposes.
By next Monday Tehran is to address claims made by the IAEA of the alleged use of what the Vienna-based watchdog calls “large-scale high explosives experimentation”.
Last year's key deal partially froze Iran's nuclear activities in return for minor sanctions relief but the gap between the two sides remains large.
While some differences have been reconciled there are disagreements over how much uranium Iran would be allowed to enrich and on the lifting of international economic sanctions.
A new round of talks between the two sides is expected before the U.N. General Assembly starts on September 16.
A historic accord would see Iran scale back its nuclear activities and in return Tehran would be granted relief from painful UN and Western sanctions.
Such a deal could finally put an end to a standoff that has been threatening to escalate into a war since 2002.
“Negotiations will be held on the sidelines... and perhaps at the ministerial level, but first there will be bilateral negotiations with the group P5+1 whose date and place have not been fixed,” Abbas Araqchi, another Iranian negotiator, said.
He added that the Iranian side was “serious” about securing an agreement.
“We are optimistic. We must try to solve problems with creative solutions.”
250 injured in Iran earthquakeThe quake hit Murmuri, about 500 kilometers from Tehran, at a depth of 10 kilometers at 02:32 GMT, according to Iranian state television. Middle East
Iran contract delay not down to me, says QueirozLocal media reported Kafashian saying he would send Queiroz a plane ticket once he had agreed to the terms Sports
Iran’s media shy away from unveiled medalistPresident Hassan Rowhani, meanwhile, exercised the freedom to post a picture of the maths award recipient without a veil Digital
U.N. nuclear, humanitarian chiefs set to visit IranBoth chiefs scheduled to discuss Iran's nuclear program and expanding humanitarian cooperation Middle East
Why has Iran turned its back on Iraq’s Maliki?After eight years of Nouri al-Maliki in office, the Islamic Republic turned its back on one of its staunchest allies Middle East
Iran: One year under Rowhani the pragmatistHis campaign promised and promoted the slogans of "Government of Prudence and Hope" and “ moderation and wisdom". Analysis
Iran's Rowhani blasts critics as 'political cowards'Rowhani, a moderate whose tenure has so far focused on economic and foreign policy rather than social reform, said Iran. Middle East