“In exchange for the suspension of 20-percent enrichment by the Islamic Republic of Iran, all sanctions adopted against Iran should be annulled,” Alaeddin Boroujerdi, chairman of Iran Majlis (parliament) Foreign Policy and National Security Committee, told al-Alam channel in an interview.
“[The Western governments] should not expect a halt on 20-percent enrichment as long as they push ahead with sanctions and pressures on the people of Iran,” the MP added.
Boroujerdi noted that Iran is entitled to enrich uranium to even higher levels of purity to power its ocean-going ships. “The fuel used by these ships is not 20-percent [enriched] and it might be 40- or 50-percent. This right should be preserved for us.”
Boroujerdi’s views coincide with the presence of an Iranian delegation in the Kazakh city of Almaty for talks with the P5+1 group – the United States, France, Britain, Russia, and China plus Germany.
The talks, due to kick off on Tuesday, will cover a range of topics including Iran’s nuclear energy program.
Iran and the P5+1 group have held several rounds of talks with a focus on Iran’s nuclear energy program. The last round of negotiations was held in Moscow in June 2012. The Iranian negotiating delegation in the Moscow talks was led by Secretary of the Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) Saeed Jalili and the P5+1 group was headed by the EU foreign policy chief, Catherine Ashton.
The US, Israel, and some of their allies have repeatedly accused Iran of pursuing non-civilian objectives in its nuclear energy program. Tehran has categorically rejected the allegation, arguing that as a signatory to the Non-Proliferation Treaty and a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) it is entitled to develop nuclear technology for peaceful purposes.
In addition, the IAEA has conducted numerous inspections of Iran’s nuclear facilities but has never found any evidence showing that the Iranian nuclear energy program has been diverted toward non-civilian purposes.