As Vienna nuclear talks kick off, Iran stresses military issues "not on the agenda"
The Iranian Foreign Ministry has stressed that military issues have “no place” on the agenda of the Islamic Republic’s nuclear negotiations with six major world powers rejecting earlier claims by senior US officials in this regard.
“Military issues have nothing to do with the nuclear issue and they have no place in the nuclear negotiations,” stressed Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Marziyeh Afkham during a news conference on Tuesday.
Earlier this month, US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman told US Senators that Iran’s missiles would be addressed under a final nuclear deal over Tehran’s nuclear energy program.
On February 11, White House National Security Council (NSC) Spokeswoman Bernadette Meehan also told the Washington Free Beacon website that Washington aims to stop Iran’s missile tests under a final deal over Tehran’s nuclear energy program. Afkham once again rejected such statements by the US officials, stressing, “Nuclear issues constitute the only framework for the talks and the Iranian negotiating team will pursue this agenda sensitively and persistently.”
Iran and the six countries - Russia, China, France, Britain, the US and Germany – resumed their talks in the Austrian capital, Vienna, in an effort to reach a comprehensive deal on Tehran’s nuclear energy program.
Iran and its negotiating sides inked a landmark interim nuclear accord in Geneva, Switzerland, in November 2013. Under the deal that took effect on January 20, the six countries agreed to lift some of the existing sanctions against Iran in exchange for Tehran’s confidence-building measure to limit certain aspects of its nuclear activities for a six-month period.
Afkham further stated one should not expect the new round of the nuclear talks to result in a final deal, saying several rounds of discussions are required in order to strike such an accord on Iran’s nuclear energy program.