The New York Times: Iran said Wednesday that negotiations with three European nations over its nuclear program must be completed quickly and warned that it would walk away if they continued to drag. The New York Times
By NAZILA FATHI
TEHRAN – Iran said Wednesday that negotiations with three European nations over its nuclear program must be completed quickly and warned that it would walk away if they continued to drag.
Hassan Rowhani, Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator and secretary of the Supreme National Security Council, told reporters after a closed meeting with members of Parliament that Iran would abandon the talks if it felt that the European countries were wasting its time.
“The negotiations have been going on for three months now,” the ISNA news agency quoted him as saying. “We might continue the talks for another month or two if we feel they are progressing. The minute we feel there is no progress, we will quit.”
Mr. Rowhani also said in an Interview with The Financial Times this week that Iran expected a proposal it recently made with Europe to be the basis for the talks.
“The Europeans should tell us whether these ideas can work as the basis for continued negotiations or not,” the newspaper quoted him as saying. “If yes, fine. If not, then negotiations cannot continue. These ideas are the very last possible ideas that we could come up with as compromise options.”
Still, Mr. Rowhani spoke optimistically about a round of talks with Europe that began Tuesday. They are expected to continue on a more substantive level in London on April 29.
“The talks on Tuesday progressed very well,” he said. Britain, France and Germany have been negotiating with Iran since 2003, seeking its promise to abandon its uranium enrichment program. The technology, which Iran insists is for peaceful energy purposes, also can be used to make weapons.
Iran has refused to end the program permanently. It recently proposed providing “objective guarantees” that the program was for peaceful purposes.