Iran’s Deputy Nuclear Negotiator Reviews Past Mistakes in Negotiations

Iranian deputy nuclear negotiator, Ali Bagheri said on Tuesday that Iran expects to receive the P5+1′s  (USA, Britain, France, China, Russia and Germany) response to Iran’s Almaty-II proposals for the May 15th meeting between EU foreign policy Chief Catherine Ashton and Secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council, Saeed Jalili.

“Our technical developments continue within the framework of our obligations,” said Deputy Secretary of the Iranian National Security Council said in a meeting with students of the University of Tehran. “Iran’s coming presidential election will insure the progress of the country’s nuclear technical development.”

Slamming Iran’s nuclear negotiating team during 2003-05 with Europe led by Hassan Rowhani, Bagheri said: “In the past we did not have real negotiations and our national interest and security was damaged. We accepted a false term of ‘suspension’ and then our nuclear file was referred to the UN Security Council.”

“Discussion of our nuclear technical field was ignored in that period, consequently the other side [the West] told us to suspend the whole fuel cycle,” he said.

Hassan Rowhani, a candidate of the upcoming presidential election critiqued the process of the current nuclear talks in his election campaign speeches, describing it as “slow” and unable to stop sanctions against Iran.

While the election race heats up in Iran, the nuclear issue is one of the main topics, candidates talk about it in their campaign speeches.

“Time is in our favor,” Bagheri answering a question asked by a student regard prolongation of talks with the P5+1. “In the past time was against us because we suspended our nuclear activities and they were pressing us. But now even though [the west] continues its pressure against us, we are continuing to develop technical aspects of [our nuclear program].”

The Deputy Secretary of Iran’s Security Council denied the suspension of all of Iran’s nuclear activities was endorsed by the Supreme Leader.

In answer to increasing critics against the mandate of Rowhani in nuclear talks with Europe and acceptance of suspension of nuclear activities, he said on several occasions that the supreme leader endorsed the initiative.

“As Mr. Rowhani wrote in his book, the Supreme Leader only accepted the suspension of Gas injection and not all of the nuclear activities. It is an injustice to attribute our mistakes to the leader,” said Bagheri.

At the end of the discussion between the University of Tehran students and the Iranian deputy nuclear negotiator Ali Bagheri the students handed a letter to Bagheri inviting Saeed Jalili (The chief negotiator) to be a candidate in the presidential election. 

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