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Source: China Daily China Daily

Iran says no nuclear deal better than bad one

Published: 25 Feb 2015 23:50:23 PST

TEHRAN/MUNICH - Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on Sunday that no nuclear deal is better than a bad deal, as Iran and world powers gear up for a deadline by the end of March.

"I agree with an agreement (on Iran's nuclear issue) ..., but no agreement is better than any agreement which undermines the interests of our nation," Khamenei said in a meeting with Iran's air force commanders.

"Our (nuclear) negotiators are striving to disarm the enemy with the sanction weapon. If this happens, so much the better; otherwise, everybody should know that there are many mechanisms available in the country which can blunt this weapon," Khamenei was quoted as saying by official IRNA news agency.

Negotiation means that all sides should strive to reach common grounds. No single side should expect only their demands to be put in the deal, he said.

"To reach an agreement, Iran accepted to temporarily stop developing its (uranium) enrichment machines, producing 20 percent uranium enrichment, and working on Arak (heavy water plant) and Fordow (underground high-grade uranium facility)," he added.

Still, the West asks for more despite Iran's "logical" fulfillment of its obligations, he added.

Iran agreed to suspend nuclear activities in return for limited ease of sanctions under an interim deal between Tehran and the P5+1 group (namely the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Russia, China and Germany) on Nov. 24, 2013, pledging to reach a deal by July 2014.

After failing to bridge gaps in 2014, both sides are committed to agreeing on a general framework of the potential deal by the end of March, before heading towards another extended deadline to reach a final deal by July this year.

The Western powers have imposed rounds of diverse sanctions on Iran, accusing the Islamic Republic of having been developing atomic weapons under the cover of civilian nuclear plan. Iran rejected the allegations as baseless, and insisted that its nuclear program is solely peaceful.

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Iran says no nuclear deal better than bad one

Iran's foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif gestures during an open debate at the 51st Munich Security Conference at the 'Bayerischer Hof' hotel in Munich Feb 8, 2015.[Photo/Agencies]

It is quite possible to reach a deal over Iran's nuclear issue and there is no need to further extend the nuclear talks between Tehran and the P5+1 group, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said Sunday.

Iran wants to show the world that its nuclear plan is exclusively peaceful, Zarif said at a debate session of the ongoing 51st Munich Security Conference, stressing that negotiations and respect are the only path toward a deal over the issue.

Sanctions imposed on Iran, he said, also have impact on other countries and will not help solve the problems.

Iran will increase the number of its uranium enrichment centrifuges if Washington imposes new sanctions against the Islamic Republic, Hamid Baeedinejad, a member of Iran's nuclear negotiating team, said Thursday.

"Naturally, if we reach a deadend over Iran's nuclear issue, both sides will resume their former positions," Baeedinejad said.

In addition, in the event of further sanctions by the United States, Iran will proceed with its nuclear program and "we will install additional centrifuges," said Baeedinejad, who is also the Foreign Ministry's head of political affairs.

Iran's parliament agreed on Tuesday to examine a bill asking the government to resume enrichment and accelerate construction of its controversial Arak heavy water reactor in case of fresh US sanctions.

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