Iran ‘entitled’ to develop civilian nuke program: Atomic chief

Tehran: Head of the Atomic Energy Organisation of Iran, Mohammad Eslami said Iran is entitled to develop its “civilian” nuclear program, Press TV reported.

Dismissing allegations by some countries that Iran is seeking “to make an atomic bomb,” Eslami said on Thursday that this is the right of his country to develop its civilian nuclear energy program, given that it is a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

The IAEA is duty-bound to encourage and assist the development and practical application of peaceful atomic energy throughout the world, he said, adding that however, “not only did they (IAEA) withhold help (to Iran), but they also created obstacles.”

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With regard to Iran’s current negotiations with the world powers in the Austrian capital of Vienna, the Iranian Nuclear Chief said the purpose of negotiations is the removal of sanctions imposed by the US, Xinhua news agency reported.

Iran’s stance in this regard is clear, as “the talks are aimed at having the sanctions removed, establishing a verification regime on the removal of sanctions, and taking guarantees from the other side they will not violate the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) again,” he was quoted as saying.

Iran signed the nuclear deal, formally known as the JCPOA, with world powers in July 2015. However, former US President Donald Trump pulled Washington out of the agreement in May 2018 and reimposed unilateral sanctions on Iran.

Since April 2021, eight rounds of talks have been held in Austria’s capital Vienna between Iran and the remaining JCPOA parties, namely Britain, China, France, Russia and Germany, with the US indirectly involved in the talks, to revive the landmark deal.

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