Unprecedented Resolve in P5+1 Talks

Unprecedented Resolve in P5+1 Talks  Unprecedented Resolve in P5+1 Talks

A US official close to nuclear talks between Iran and the major powers has said the talks are "very serious" and both parties are determined to achieve an "appropriate outcome" by the end of this month. The official said US Secretary of State John Kerry has discussed Iran's nuclear issue with almost all foreign ministers of the P5+1 (the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany).

"Both parties are determined to reach a settlement in the negotiations and such determination is unprecedented," the French-language newspaper Le Figaro quoted the unnamed US official as saying, IRNA reported on Sunday.

The comments came as Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and EU envoy Catherine Ashton are scheduled to sit for a working lunch this week in Vienna to discuss Iran’s nuclear program.           

Representatives from Iran and the P5+1 are expected to meet on November 18 in Vienna to make a last-ditch effort to strike a deal before the November 24 deadline to resolve a long-running dispute over Tehran's nuclear program.

Senior officials from Iran and the major powers met in Oman last Tuesday to push for progress in international diplomacy on Iran's nuclear standoff. The Muscat talks followed two days of trilateral discussions between Zarif, Kerry and Ashton, who coordinates the negotiations on behalf of the P5+1. Those talks, however, failed to bring about the expected breakthrough.

Meanwhile, MP Alaeddin Boroujerdi said on Sunday, "We want the sanctions by the United States, the European Union and the UN Security Council against Iran to be lifted immediately," adding, "It would be unreasonable for us to remain under sanctions, on the one hand, and accept restrictions, on the other."

The West, however, says it is more likely that the sanctions will be eased gradually as Tehran meets commitments under a final nuclear deal, something that Boroujerdi, who is the chairman of the Majlis National Security and Foreign Policy Committee, told the Arabic-language network al-Alam "Tehran is not willing to accept."

The West has claimed that Iran may have been seeking to develop the capability to build nuclear weapons under the guise of a civilian nuclear program. Tehran denies the allegation, saying its nuclear work is meant only for peaceful purposes, such as power generation.

  Uranium Transfer Ruled out

Boroujerdi also described any proposal to ship enriched uranium abroad as a "red line", adding that Tehran sees no reason for such a course of action. The lawmaker was referring to comments by Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov in Vienna last week saying that Russia’s agreement with Iran on the removal of nuclear material may become part of a larger deal Iran may conclude with the major powers. The New York Times had earlier claimed that "Tehran agreed to ship parts of its stockpile of uranium to Russia if a final agreement is reached by November 24."

"Under the proposed agreement, the Russians would convert the uranium into specialized fuel rods for the Bushehr nuclear power plant, Iran’s only commercial reactor." Elsewhere, Boroujerdi said there have been no diversion in Iran's peaceful nuclear activities which are conducted within the framework of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, adding based on a fatwa (religious decree) issued by Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei, Iran has never sought to build nuclear weapons.      

On February 22, 2012, Ayatollah Khamenei said Iran considers the pursuit and possession of nuclear weapons "a grave sin" from every logical, religious and theoretical standpoint.