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10/28/14

Comprehensive nuclear pact possible by deadline: Iran's President Rouhani

Source: Tehran Times

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has said that a comprehensive agreement on Iran’s nuclear program can be reached before the November 24 deadline if the six major powers negotiating with Iran show the political will to reach a consensus.


Iranian President Hassan Rohani with Odyssey Norheim, the new Norwegian ambassador to Tehran
(photo by Ehsan Naderipour, Islamic Republic News Agency)

“Tehran has taken very positive steps in the nuclear talks with the 5+1 group (Russia, China, the United States, Britain, France, and Germany) and if the negotiating parties also prove to have the necessary political will in this regard, reaching a comprehensive agreement will be possible within the next month,” Rouhani said in a meeting with the new Norwegian ambassador to Tehran, Odyssey Norheim, in Tehran on Monday.

Pointing to the peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear program, Rouhani said, “We are operating within the framework of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and under the... supervision of International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors.”

He stated that the efforts to devise a win-win strategy in the nuclear talks will help expand relations between Iran and European countries, including Norway.

He also said that Iran and Norway can enhance their interactions and can cooperate with each other on important regional issues, such as the campaign against extremism and terrorism.

The Norwegian ambassador also called for the expansion of ties between the two countries.


Odyssey Norheim, the new Norwegian ambassador to Tehran

Norway will continue talks with Iran, as an important regional player, to help resolve regional crises, Norheim added.

Commenting on the Norwegian foreign minister’s upcoming visit to Iran, she said that Norway recognizes Iran’s right to the peaceful use of nuclear energy.

‘Continuation of sanctions would be major loss for Europe’

Also on Monday, the Iranian president received the credentials of the new Belgian ambassador to Tehran, Francois Delhaye.

During their meeting, Rouhani said the continuation of sanctions would actually harm all parties involved, particularly the European Union.

“The baseless pretexts, which have caused the imposition of cruel sanctions on Iran, should not harm those countries which have had advantageous relations with Iran over the past few years,” he added.

Rouhani expressed hope that a final comprehensive nuclear agreement would result in the expansion of cooperation between Iran and the EU.

He noted that the fatwa (religious edict) issued by Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei banning the production, use, and stockpiling of nuclear weapons and all other weapons of mass destruction is the best guarantee that Iran’s nuclear energy program is entirely peaceful.

He went on to say that an agreement can be reached in the time remaining until the deadline if there is the political will to do so.

 Terrorism and extremism more dangerous than Ebola: Rouhani

Commenting on the critical situation in the Middle East and the insecurity in the region, Rouhani said terrorism and extremism are more dangerous than the spread of Ebola.

“The disease of terrorism and extremism is more dangerous than Ebola, and the only way to fight this threat is [through] amity, coordination, and cooperation among countries,” Rouhani stated.

He said that he believes regional governments must enhance their coordination and cooperation in the campaign against terrorism and extremism.

Iran is ready to consult with all influential countries in an effective campaign against terrorism and extremism, he added.

Elsewhere in his remarks, Rouhani stated that the Islamic Republic of Iran is interested in enhancing its friendly ties with the outside world.

On December 18, the UN General Assembly overwhelmingly voted to approve Rouhani’s World Against Violence and Extremism (WAVE) proposal, which calls on all nations across the globe to denounce violence and extremism. The Iranian president made the proposal in his address to the annual session of the UN General Assembly in New York on September 25, 2013.

Washington and its Western allies accuse Iran of trying to hide a nuclear weapons program under the cover of a civilian nuclear program, but have never presented any corroborative evidence to substantiate their allegations. And the IAEA has conducted numerous inspections of Iran’s nuclear facilities but has never found any evidence of diversion to weapons production. 

 Rouhani highlights potential for consolidation of Tehran-Rome ties

In a meeting with the new Italian ambassador to Tehran, Mauro Conchatori, on Monday, Rouhani stated that there is great potential for the expansion of relations between Iran and Italy.

“Italy stands in the position of Iran’s biggest trade partner in Europe. Today, we should also be able to solve the problems facing the expansion of our relations and enhance the level of these ties to the desired level,” Rouhani said.

Iran and Italy have always acted as a bridge between the East and the West, he noted, adding that the two nations have the potential to boost their bilateral relations in the scientific, cultural, economic, and political spheres.

“Today, many international and European companies are negotiating economic and trade cooperation contracts with Iran. Italy can also become active in this area and can use the current opportunity, given its extensive economic and industrial relations with Iran over the past few years,” Rouhani said.

The Italian ambassador said that the outlook for cooperation between the two countries is quite promising.

On Monday, Rouhani also held a meeting with the new Turkish ambassador to Tehran, Hakan Tekin.

During the meeting, Tekin said regional crises cannot be resolved without consultation with Iran.

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