Good Deal Will Not Be Sacrificed at Altar of Deadline

Good Deal  Will Not Be  Sacrificed at  Altar of Deadline
Good Deal  Will Not Be  Sacrificed at  Altar of Deadline

The secretary of the Supreme National Security Council said Iran will never accept to compromise its rights in a possible nuclear deal with the major powers to meet a target date for its conclusion.  

"What matters to us is the contents of the deal. We will not sacrifice a good deal to meet the deadline," Ali Shamkhani said in an interview with the Lebanese television Al-Manar on Monday, reiterating Iran's stance that it does not consider itself bound by time.

Iran and the P5+1 (the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council plus Germany) are negotiating to work out the details of the prospective pact on Tehran's nuclear program by a self-imposed end-June deadline.

On the elements of a "good" nuclear agreement, Shamkhani said such a deal should allow Iran to maintain its peaceful nuclear program and continue to carry out research and development.

He highlighted Tehran's alertness in negotiations, saying, "In view of the US record in showing hostility against the nation and the imposition of illegal and unfair sanctions on the country, we are following the path of negotiations while maintaining full vigilance and a feeling of distrust."

"This is the only option and opportunity available for the other side to adopt a path of cooperation rather that one of confrontation."

Rejecting the allegation that Iran's nuclear program may have military objectives, he said, "Twelve years of cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency… has proved there is nothing pointing to Iran's nuclear activities as a threat."

Shamkhani referred to demands by some parties to nuclear talks that the prospective accord should require Tehran to give the IAEA access to its military sites for inspection, stressing, "The country's non-nuclear issues, including its military affairs, are non-negotiable."

Asked to comment on Iran's record in its relations with neighboring countries, Shamkhani said, "We have always been seeking to build good relations based on the principle of good neighborliness with other regional countries because we believe the only way to promote prosperity in the region is developing proper relations with our neighbors."

Despite such an approach, "there is a long list of attempts made against us by some countries which put the interests of non-regional countries before regional security and our common interests."

Describing as "deplorable" the recent reports revealing the intelligence cooperation between Saudi Arabia and Israel, Shamkhani noted, "Foiling the divisive plots by the (Israeli) regime will be possible only through the establishment of unity and solidarity among Muslim countries and nations."

***Primary Threat

Calling Israel "the primary threat to the region" and a "common enemy of all Muslim nations", Shamkhani said, "Acknowledgement by top officials of the Zionist regime that today the security conditions are excellent in the illegitimate regime" reflects the alignment of the Zionists' goals with the motives behind the formation of terrorist groups in the region.

In response to a question about the consequences of the presence of the Islamic State terrorist group in Iran's neighboring countries, he said, "The establishment of Takfiri groups is a project which was set up by the West, the Zionist regime and regional dictatorial countries and reactionary (leaders)."

A Takfiri is a Muslim who accuses followers of other religions and some Islamic sects of being unbelievers.

Takfiri groups are meant to divert attention from the "Palestinian and resistance" issues.

"The phenomenon of takfiri terrorism has scuppered the chances for the development of the Muslim world raised by the emergence of the Islamic Awakening," he added.