Zarif: No decision on accepting additional protocol

Photo: Zarif: No decision on accepting additional protocol / Nuclear Program

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif underlined that Iran and the Group 5+1 (the US, Russia, China, France and Britain plus Germany) have not discussed the issue of Iranˈs acceptance of the Additional Protocol to the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) so far, IRNA reported.

One of the issues in the comprehensive nuclear accord with the G5+1 is signing up Additional Protocol, but we have not reached that stage in negotiations yet," Zarif said on Friday.

Earlier this week, Spokesman of the Atomic Energy Agency of Iran (AEOI) Behrouz Kamalvandi stressed that any decision about endorsement or rejection of the Additional Protocol to the NPT only falls under the authority of the Iranian parliament.

"If the sanctions are removed, animosities will end and all issues pertaining to (Iran's) nuclear dossier are resolved....we will be ready to sign the Additional Protocol; however, the parliament will be the final decision-maker in this regard," Kamalvandi said.

Yet, Kamalvandi said that under the Geneva interim deal, the signing of the Additional Protocol is "part of and one of the key elements of a comprehensive nuclear energy program" of Iran.

Tehran voluntarily signed the Additional Protocol in December 2003 and remained committed to it for over two years, but suspended its implementation after the UN Security Council imposed sanctions on the Islamic Republic.

Iran and the Group 5+1 (the five permanent UN Security Council members plus Germany) sealed an interim deal in the Swiss city of Geneva on November 24, 2013 to pave the way for the full resolution of the decade-old dispute with Iran over the country's nuclear standoff with the West. The deal came into force on January 20.

Under the Geneva deal, dubbed the Joint Plan of Action, the six countries undertook to provide Iran with some sanctions relief in exchange for Tehran agreeing to limit certain aspects of its nuclear activities during a six-month period.

The sixth round of talks between Iran and the G5+1 over a comprehensive final deal is slated for early July, diplomatic sources said.

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