Iran will continue enriching uranium even if the country’s nuclear plants come under military attacks, according to the Persian Gulf country’s ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency, the IAEA .
The country’s nuclear activities are peaceful and Iran has made every effort to prove it, Aliasghar Soltanieh, Iran’s IAEA envoy, said today in a press conference in Moscow, the state television reported on its website .
“Iran is self-sufficient in this technology,” Soltanieh said. “Even if we come under a military strike, our specialists will build new centrifuges and we will carry on enrichment.” Iran will never stop cooperating with the IAEA, he added.
The comments came as Iran began a round of discussions over its disputed nuclear programme with the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany. The two-day talks are being held in Istanbul, Turkey. Iran’s team is headed by Saeed Jalili, the country’s Supreme National Security Council secretary, while EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton will chair the negotiations. Analysts are not optimistic about the prospects of a breakthrough.
“It is highly unlikely there will be any tangible result from these particular talks,” said Paul Ingram , executive director for the British American Security Information Council before the talks began. “If the United States genuinely think that it will only be pressure on Iran that forces a compromise, they will not offer anything substantial at this stage, preferring to stick with the sanctions route, and are likely to stymie any deal.”
“The expectations on both sides are low. Unfortunately the incentives, as they are interpreted today, point towards talk but no breakthrough agreement,” he said. “Neither side has a credible alternative to negotiation, but neither side has a political will to find solutions.”
Soltanieh, once again, brushed off allegations that Iran’s nuclear activity has a military target. He said Iran deems possessing and using nuclear weapons forbidden by Islam. Another reason his country doesn’t need atomic weapons is the logic that Iran would never be able to compete with more than 27,000 nuclear warheads owned by the countries that are engaged in negotiations with it.
After a break in talks of more than a year the parties met in Geneva last month, but failed to reach an accord.
euronews correspondent in London