Marzieh Afkham, spokesperson for Iran’s Foreign Ministry, has disputed what was published on the White House website outlining the specifics of the nuclear deal between Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany (P5+1).
Samina Rastegar wrote an op-ed in Reformist newspaper Etemad that President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad “speaks in such a way that he will never leave the political scene.” The president cannot run for a third term, but there are many indications he is actively promoting his longtime ally Esfandiar Rahim Mashaei, and perhaps even others, for the presidential elections in June.
Rastegar referenced a speech the president made to his governors recently in which he said “I believe the future administration will reach a higher level than my previous two terms because the revolution and the nation is moving toward completion, and the indication of that is what the Iranian nation is introducing today.”
The chairman of the parliamentary Committee of Foreign Policy and National Security, Alaeddin Borujerdi, said in an interview with Iran’s Arab-language station Al Alam that when it comes to the West and the chances of more sanctions through the UN, “for parliament, all options are on the table.” Last weekend Iran and the P5+1 finished another round of negotiations in Almaty, Kazakhstan with inconclusive results. Borujerdi said, “It is not acceptable for Iran to respect the provisions of the Non-Proliferation Treaty [NPT], but [it is] for America and the West to ignore Article 6 [regarding nuclear-arms reduction] and Article 4 [Iran’s inalienable nuclear rights]. In this case, there is no reason for Iran to be a member of the NPT, and parliament can review this matter.” Borujerdi added that “we cannot be indifferent to the oppression the Iranian nation is facing; of course, this is a strategic decision that the Supreme National Security Council must adopt, but parliament will use its abilities to defend the rights of the nation.” Continue reading
At a meeting of the Assembly of Experts yesterday, Ayatollah Khamenei said that at the latest negotiations in Almaty, Kazakstan between Iran and P5+1, “the West did not do anything important for it to be interpreted as a concession but rather they confessed to some of the rights of the nation of Iran.” It had been reported by most Western media that the West offered to lift some sanctions if Iran would scale back certain nuclear activities.
Khamenei added that “to measure the honesty of the West at the latest meeting with Iran, we must wait until the next session.” This statement implies that perhaps points of progress or significance were discussed.
Regarding enrichment of uranium at 20%, Khamenei said that “the enemies of the nation of Iran, because of their lack of understanding of Iran and their miscalculations, had recommended odd and strange paths on this issue, that had we gone down these paths the chances of reaching uranium at 20% would be zero.”
Khamenei also accused President Barrack Obama of trying to provoke world public opinion by asking “the heads of Turkey and Brazil to mediate in order for Iran to accept a middle (compromise) solution.” He said that he told political leaders “that there is nothing wrong with pursuing these paths for a solution but that the Americans will never accept it, and that’s what happened.”
On sanctions, Khamenei said that “the excuse of sanctions appears to be about the nuclear program but it is actually a long term plan that the West has been pursuing.” He continued “that the hope of the West was that by putting pressure on the people, they would stand up to the system (government) but what they saw the anniversary of the revolution rallies was against their wants and desires.”
In response to Iran’s economic woes and the effects of sanctions Khamanei said that “some of the problems are related to the sanctions…and some are related to the management of the economy but the important point is that the problems can be fixed.” To what extent the sanctions have caused Iran’s economic problems has been a source of controversy inside Iran with different political figures offering varying analysis.
Khamenei began his speech by stressing the importance of having “long term views” in relation to the “hardships and ups and downs.”
In Other News
Iran’s Ambassador to the United Nations Mohammad Khazaei called on the Non-Alignment Movement (NAM) states to take action on nuclear disarmament.
At a session in New York he said that Iran “has always announced that nuclear disarmament is one of its most important priorities yet we have always stressed the importance that members of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) have complete rights to use nuclear energy for peaceful purposes.”
Khazaei stated that “future changes of NPT must be in the direction of strengthening the commitment of member states to nuclear disarmament and be accepted without double standards or discrimination.” He continued that “in our (Iran) view, reinterpretations of the obligations and rights under the principles of the treaty have been counterproductive and any review of NPT must be done efficiently and with complete transparency.”
The last NPT Review Conference was held in May of 2010. The Preparatory Committee for the 2015 Review Conference of the NPT was held from April 30 to May 11 of 2012 in Vienna.
Iran is a member of NPT. Ali Asghar Soltanieh, Iran’s Ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency has previously said that if Iran is attacked there is a “possibility” they would leave NPT.