Iran does not seek nuke weapons: FM

Iran does not seek possession of nuclear weapons, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said in a phone conversation with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Sunday.

“Nuclear weapons have no place in the doctrine of the Islamic Republic of Iran and are contrary to our policies and beliefs,” Amir-Abdollahian was quoted by the ministry’s website as saying.

“The supreme leader’s fatwa about the use of nuclear weapons is clear for everyone,” he said, referring to the religious decree of Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei which bans the possession and use of weapons of mass destruction including nuclear weapons.

He stressed the implementation of all aspects of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, a landmark international treaty that pursues nuclear disarmament, adding the establishment of a nuclear weapons-free zone in the Middle East should be given serious attention, for which Iran is ready for cooperation.

Regarding the ongoing negotiations in Vienna on reviving the 2015 nuclear deal, he said while Iran has been serious about reaching a “strong and stable agreement,” the outcome of the talks also depends on Washington’s “willingness for an agreement,” as well as its “necessary flexibility and realism in practice.”

Amir-Abdollahian urged the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to avoid politicizing the technical aspects of Iran’s nuclear program in a bid to resolve remaining issues over the application of IAEA safeguards in Iran.

A new round of talks to revive the nuclear deal, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), began in Vienna on Thursday after a five-month hiatus.

Tehran signed the nuclear deal with world powers in July 2015, agreeing to curb its nuclear program in return for the removal of sanctions on the country. However, former US President Donald Trump pulled Washington out of the agreement and reimposed unilateral sanctions on Tehran, prompting the latter to drop some of its commitments under the pact.

The talks on reviving the JCPOA began in April 2021 in the Austrian capital but were suspended in March this year because of political differences between Tehran and Washington.

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