TEHRAN: Iran will not accept “nuclear apartheid” but is willing to offer more transparency over its atomic activities, President Hassan Rouhani said Sunday ahead of new talks with world powers.
Iran and the P5+1 group of nations will start hammering out a draft accord Tuesday aimed at ending a decade-long standoff over suspicions that the Islamic republic is concealing military objectives.
“We have nothing to put on the table and offer to them but transparency. That’s it. Our nuclear technology is not up for negotiation,” Rouhani, referring to the West, said in remarks broadcast on state television.
“Iran will not retreat one step in the field of nuclear technology… we will not accept nuclear apartheid,” he said.
The self-declared moderate president has faced a battle from domestic critics of his diplomatic outreach since taking power last August.
“We want to tell the world they cannot belittle the Iranian nation; they have to respect it,” Rouhani added Sunday.
Meanwhile, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on Sunday that Western expectations for Iran to limit its missile program were “stupid and idiotic.”
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