Middle East/North Africa

Iran: US nuke demands have ‘no value’

Iran’s top diplomat on Wednesday dismissed the Obama administration’s demands on its nuclear program as having “no value.”

The latest provocative remarks by Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif come one day after President Obama’s top Iran negotiator sought to reassure Congress about the administration’s resolve. Under Secretary of State Wendy Sherman told the Senate Foreign Relations panel that Iran had no need for its underground fortified enrichment at Fordow or its heavy water reactor at Arak.

“Iran’s nuclear technology is non-negotiable and the remarks by US officials about Iran’s nuclear facilities have no value,” Zarif told reporters in Tehran, according to Iran’s Press TV. 

{mosads}“There is also no need to talk about or discuss these facilities,” Zarif said. “Iran pursues peaceful purposes in its programs and those who are familiar with these peaceful purposes know that we will not negotiate about [our nuclear] facilities.”

Separately, the head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, Ali Akbar Salehi, told Press TV that “the entire nuclear activity of Iran is going on” despite the interim deal with the Obama administration that went into effect on Jan. 20.

Salehi said Iran has “voluntarily” suspended its 20 percent enrichment of uranium under the deal, but made no other concessions. He said Iran continues to work on advanced centrifuges.

“The best part of this joint action plan is the research part,” he said. “It’s so clear that R&D has no constraint.”

Sherman dismissed the Iranian pushback as political posturing.

“I believe that is for domestic consumption and an opening, maximalist negotiating position,” said Sherman. “And I wouldn’t expect any less. What I will care about — what we should all care about — is what Iran does.”

Please send tips and comments to Julian Pecquet: jpecquet@thehill.com

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Tags Iran Iran nuclear deal Javad Zarif
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