Iranian foreign minister says Tehran’s peaceful nuclear program has not stopped in the face of unilateral sanctions and will never be halted.
“We believe that sanctions can never yield results because sanctions are an illegal strategy to exert pressure and implement bullying policies, which contradict the international law,” Mohammad Javad Zarif said in a joint press conference with Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in the Russian capital, Moscow, on Friday.
The Iranian foreign minister added that Iran’s negotiations with the five permanent members of the UN Security Council – Russia, China, France, Britain and the United States – plus Germany are aimed at resolving any ambiguity about the Iranian nuclear energy program.
In July, Tehran and the six states agreed to extend negotiations until November 24 after they failed to reach common ground on a number of key issues.
Zarif further described the “illegal” sanctions against Tehran as “fruitless” and added, “We had 200 centrifuges before sanctions but we currently have 20,000 centrifuges.”
The illegal US-engineered sanctions on Iran have been imposed based on the unfounded accusation that Tehran is pursuing non-civilian objectives in its nuclear energy program.
Iran rejects the allegation, arguing that as a committed signatory to the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), it has the right to use nuclear technology for peaceful purposes.
Zarif also said sanctions may exert pressure on people, but the people of Iran and Russia would never give up on their rights under such pressure.
The European Union has imposed sanctions against Russia as well as pro-Russia figures after Ukraine’s then autonomous region of Crimea voted in a referendum to re-join the Russian Federation in March.