When Iran’s nuclear program reached crisis point, it was all a trap
Iran has been in a state of crisis for years, but the time to act is now, Iran’s top nuclear negotiator has warned.
“There is no alternative but to take drastic measures to end the crisis, and it’s urgent,” Ali Akbar Velayati said Tuesday during a conference call with reporters.
Velayati is Iran’s senior nuclear negotiator.
He spoke in his first interview since his appointment in late January.
He was accompanied by Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, who spoke for the first time about Iran’s negotiations with the United States.
Iran has faced unprecedented pressure since the U.S. and its allies agreed in January to scale back sanctions on the Islamic Republic over its ballistic missile program and nuclear program.
The Iranian delegation, led by Velayeti, has been meeting with senior U.N. nuclear officials for more than a year, and the talks were the first to include the United Nations Security Council, which had previously resisted the administration’s demand for immediate lifting of sanctions.
In his latest remarks, Velayat warned that Tehran was in a “state of crisis,” but said the world must not be distracted by what he called “an illusion” surrounding a peaceful solution.
He said he was convinced that “Iran has the capability to deliver a nuclear weapon and that we cannot prevent that from happening.”
Velayat said that Tehran had a peaceful nuclear program with the aim of producing nuclear fuel, but “we must not allow it to become a pretext for using force to prevent the peaceful development of our nuclear program.”
He said Iran’s weapons program was aimed at producing weapons-grade plutonium.
“This is not the first stage of the process of developing a nuclear bomb, it is the second stage,” Velayatis statement said.
“We must never allow the pretext of the nuclear issue to become the pretext for any other military action against Iran.”
Velays remarks come as tensions in the region and an escalating conflict between the United State and North Korea escalate.
The U.K. and France, who are also leading U. N. sanctions on Iran, have said the nuclear program is aimed at making nuclear weapons.