Obstructionism Not to Erode Negotiators' Resolve
A member of the Majlis National Security and Foreign Policy Committee said Iran is determined to continue nuclear talks with the major powers, but nuclear negotiators will not give in to West's "obstructive" efforts and "excessive" demands.
"Iran is insistent on the continuation of nuclear negotiations until they reach a conclusion and will not give in to the westerners' obstruction, blackmailing and excessive demands, but the P5+1 (the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany) have not understood the message of the Islamic Republic of Iran correctly and may cause the talks to deviate from their path through adopting wrong policies, while the only solution to (the dispute over) Iran's peaceful nuclear program (can be found through) negotiations," lawmaker Avaz Heydarpour told ICANA on Saturday, referring to efforts by some US senators to pass a sanctions bill that would increase sanctions on Iran if a final nuclear deal is not struck by the June 30 target date for a long-term settlement.
He also said, "US officials are well aware that sanctions will not bring the Islamic Republic of Iran to its knees… so the measure by the US Senate Banking Committee to approve a new sanctions bill against Iran was only a political bluff."
"We believe that sanctions will go nowhere and the United States will not impose new sanctions," he added.
According to Reuters, the US Senate Banking Committee voted 18-4 on Thursday to advance a bill that would toughen sanctions on Iran if international negotiators fail to reach an agreement on Tehran's nuclear program by the end of June.
However, the bill is not expected to come up for a vote in the full Senate until at least March 24. Ten Democrats, including the measure's co-author, Senator Robert Menendez, announced an agreement last week to hold off for two months to allow time to reach a diplomatic solution.
On the possible impact of the sanctions measure by the Senate committee on nuclear talks, the lawmaker said, "The Islamic Republic will insist on its nuclear principles as in the past and will continue following the path of negotiations and has no worries regarding (the efforts by) the Senate or the whole Congress to levy new sanctions."
In addition, he said, "The US senators have frequently demonstrated their ignorance throughout the negotiations by talking about new sanctions."
Iran and the six major powers (the United States, France, Britain, Germany, Russia and China) made limited progress in their most recent round of nuclear talks in Geneva on January 18 and agreed to step up efforts to reach a political understanding by the end of March with a view to clinching a full-blown deal by their self-imposed deadline of June 30.
They are set to meet again this month, but the exact date and venue of the next round of discussions have not been fixed yet.
After a meeting with political directors of the three European countries engaged in nuclear talks in Istanbul on Thursday, senior nuclear negotiator Abbas Araqchi said, "The talks were very useful, positive and promising but still we are not in a position to say we made progress."