Talks Futile Without Lifting Sanctions

Talks Futile Without Lifting Sanctions
Talks Futile Without Lifting Sanctions

The secretary of the Supreme National Security Council has said that if the nuclear talks with the major powers do not lead to the lifting of sanctions, they will be “futile”.  

“Unilateral sanctions and the UN Security Council sanctions, which have no legal basis, must be lifted, otherwise it is clear that the talks that do not lead to this (the removal of sanctions) are invalid and futile, which cannot meet our country’s demands,” Ali Shamkhani said in an interview with Al Mayadeen, IRNA reported on Tuesday.

The United States has suggested that sanctions on Iran will first be suspended under a final nuclear deal and then they will be lifted gradually as Iran meets its commitments under the terms of the agreement.  

Iran and the P5+1 (the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany) started the last round of talks on a final deal to resolve the dispute over Tehran’s nuclear program on Tuesday in Vienna.

Shamkhani said, “The promises that the westerners had made at the start of the negotiations in the form of messages or they made in the (previous) talks which were not public were based on the lifting of sanctions.”

“Not lifting sanctions will be in contradiction with what they had said and it will certainly cast doubt on their sincerity.”

He also said that the sanctions have negative effects on people’s lives, but they cannot affect well planned measures as part of the country’s peaceful nuclear program.     

“The main reason behind the Islamic Republic of Iran’s (decision) to engage in the nuclear talks was not pressure and sanctions because pressure and sanctions naturally bring bout intransigence, persistence and even resistance, and in their analysis they (the westerners) have reached this conclusion,” he said. He went on to say that keeping pressure on Iran did not halt its nuclear program, but it led to expansion of the program. “The way to control Iran’s nuclear program… is not sanctions but is negotiations.”

Elsewhere, the security chief said “unconventional weapons” have no place in the country’s defense strategy.

Shamkhani said based on the Leader’s fatwa, Iran is not in pursuit of weapons of mass destruction, adding, “Their regular, thorough, extensive, legal and illegitimate inspections have proved this matter.”

It is possible to achieve a settlement to the nuclear dispute if they really want to ensure that Iran’s nuclear program is meant for peaceful applications, he concluded.