Diplomacy

Iran FM Blasts West on “Excessive” Demands for Nuke Agreement

Pushing back against recent statements insisting that Iran be required to make its military sites available to nuclear inspectors, Iranian foreign minister and lead nuclear negotiator Mohammad Javad Zarif said that a nuclear deal between the West and Iran was possible in a “reasonable period of time,” if the West doesn’t make “excessive” demands Reuters reported today.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Thursday he hoped Tehran and world powers would reach a final nuclear deal “within a reasonable period of time” but this would be hard if the other side stuck to what he called excessive demands. …

“If the other side respects what has been agreed in Lausanne and tries to draft, based on mutual respect, a comprehensive agreement with Iran that is sustainable…, then we can meet any deadline,” Zarif said after meeting his Greek counterpart.

“If people insist on excessive demands, on renegotiation, then it will be difficult to envisage an agreement even without a deadline,” he said in Athens.

Inspection of military sites is seen as an essential part of verifying that Iran is not developing nuclear weapons. Yesterday, both France’s foreign minister Laurent Fabius and Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency Yukiya Amano said that inspections of Iran’s military sites are essential requirements for any future nuclear deal.

However, since the beginning of April, when Iran and the P5+1 nations agreed to continue negotiating a nuclear deal, top Iranian officials including the Supreme Leader, Defense Minister, and a spokesman for Iran’s nuclear agency have all rejected the idea of submitting military sites to inspections as part of a final deal. Zarif himself only allowed for tightly controlled inspections of military sites, saying “we take the inspectors there blindfolded until they get to the specific point they want to see. We would cover the areas we don’t want them to see…this is controlled access.”

[Photo: Charlie Rose / YouTube ]