Rouhani: U.N. nuclear inspections find no evidence of "military objectives"
Rouhani "vowed" to rebuild relationships with Western powers when he assumed office in August 2013 (File Archive/AFP)
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Iranian President Hassan Rouhani told reporters Sunday that U.N. inspectors have not found any evidence of "military objectives" in Iran's nuclear programming, according to Agence France Presse.
"The agency has conducted thousands of hours of inspection, and announced it has not found any diversion from the peaceful use (of nuclear technology) to military purposes," said Rouhani in a speech broadcasted on state television. "[Western powers] all know that nuclear science in Iran follows a peaceful path."
Rouhani's speech precedes the International Atomic Energy Agency's board of governors meeting that is set to commence in Vienna Monday where Iran is expected to hold "expert-level talks" with world powers.
The U.N. nuclear watchdog recently released a report in late February saying that Iran is "sticking to a nuclear freeze" as agreed under the historic November nuclear deal. However, suspicions have been on the rise among the so-called P5+1 group of Western world powers that is expected to meet with Iran Monday in Vienna over whether or not Tehran's nuclear program is being used as a "mask" for military objectives.
In response to growing suspicion, Rouhani reiterated Tehran's stance that the nuclear programme has always been peaceful, yet "defensive in nature, and will always remain so. The Islamic Republic of Iran's foreign policy is based on detente and building trust."
The landmark November agreement between Tehran and world powers came into effect in January, but the details of the comprehensive deal are still under discussion as the P5+1 and Tehran leadership attempt to finalize the details that will ensure "a lasting accord" beyond the six month time frame of the deal.
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