Leader's Advisor Says Vienna Deal Not Bad

Leader's Advisor Says Vienna Deal Not Bad  Leader's Advisor Says Vienna Deal Not Bad

The advisor to the Leader of the Islamic Revolution on international affairs expressed satisfaction with efforts by the nuclear negotiating team, saying it is not fair to describe the deal as a "bad agreement."

"Our friends (the negotiators) are quite knowledgeable and experienced in international affairs," Ali Akbar Velayati said. "I admit what has been achieved is not ideal. But they did their best."

"It seems unlikely to me that any expert in the field would assess the deal as a bad agreement," IRNA quoted Velayati as saying in an interview with state TV on Tuesday.

Over 20 months of talks between Iran and the P5+1 (the five permanent members of the United Nation Security Council plus Germany) culminated in a deal on July 14 in Vienna to mark an end to 12 years of dispute over Tehran's nuclear program.

"It is natural for any agreement to have both strengths and weaknesses," Velayati noted.

***Inapt Term

The accord protects national interests, removes sanctions, does not deprive the Islamic Republic of its right to nuclear energy and does not prevent its progress in different areas of science and technology, the senior official pointed out.

"So 'bad agreement' would be an inapt term to apply to (the deal)."

In compliance with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (the official name of the deal), the UN Security Council endorsed it on Monday by adopting a resolution terminating the provisions of all its previous sanctions resolutions on Iran.

Velayati said some members of the Security Council might use their "unfair" veto power to impose some constraints on Iran.

If Iran finds such measures are against its national interests and despite its efforts, they are passed by the Security Council, it will, as ever, "refuse to accede."

For instance, "Iran will not wait for UN approval, as stipulated in the resolution, to procure defense equipment when it comes to protecting its national interests and territorial integrity," Velayati noted.

"None of the Iranian missiles has been designed to carry a nuclear warhead…. while the countries surrounding Iran, some of which are our potential enemies, are equipped with (conventional) missiles, why should we not be allowed to have them to defend ourselves."

The UN resolution does not allow for supply of ballistic missile technology and heavy weapons, such as tanks and attack helicopters, to Iran for eight and five years respectively unless with Security Council approval.

Velayati echoed the position of the Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei, saying the deal would not alter Tehran's regional policy.

"The Americans are seeking to sow distrust toward Iran among their allies. That is why we have to give (our allies) assurances that the nuclear pact will never undermine our regional interests and our backing of our friends in the region and will not affect our regional policies."