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Top adviser to Ayatollah discusses nuclear negotiations

March 12th, 2013
07:41 PM ET

One of the top advisers to Iran’s Supreme Leader gave a hint of cautious optimism about rebuilding ties with the United States, in an interview with CNN’s Christiane Amanpour on Tuesday.

Mohammad-Javad Larijani said that Iran is not “refraining or shying away” from talking to the United States.

“The issue is how we can restructure this relation, after 35 years of hostility and, right now, unfortunately, it's at the peak of that,” Larijani said.

There were new nuclear talks last month in Almaty, Kazakhstan between the U.S., Iran, and five other countries. The parties are due to meet again next month to see if they can resolve the crisis diplomatically and not militarily.

Both sides are publicly portraying the latest talks positively, although onlookers from Israel to Saudi Arabia say they remain skeptical that Iran intends to be fully transparent about its nuclear ambitions.

RELATED: Iran nuclear negotiator: Talks taking 'realistic' turn

Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Salehi said the West is showing signs of good faith.

“I would like to share the view of Minister Salehi, but I'm a bit more cautious,” Larijani told Amanpour. “They are always asking the utmost,” Larijani added, saying the West would get more transparency if Iran got more cooperating from the West, alluding to the easing of sanctions.

The West wants Iran to stop producing and enriching uranium to 20% and Larijani signaled that Iran could agree to that under certain conditions.

“I think this is very simple,” he said. “They should sell it to us. If we can buy it like 15 years ago – we bought it [from] Argentina. Then there is no need to produce it.”

Larijani said it would be a “very bad request,” if the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) and others were to ask Iran to stop its right to enrichment under NPT (Non-Proliferation Treaty) rules.

Though, he said Iran is ready to accept all mechanisms under the NPT to supervise this direction of its development.

When pressed about any type of opening for bilateral talks between the U.S. and Iran, Larijani did not rule out the possibility.

“My recommendation to the diplomatic machinery is that we should think about new models [of] approach.”

Filed under:  Iran • Latest Episode
soundoff (14 Responses)
  1. jimmy lim

    Just cant trust these buggers from Iran. They are merely stalling for time to weaponise, rightly or wrongly

    March 12, 2013 at 11:17 pm | Reply
    • Matt

      Says who? Unless there is proof of a military dimension of the nuclear program in Iran, nobody and no nation has the right to threaten Iran. Under the NPT, Iran has the permission to a non-military nuclear program and nobody has the right to deny this. In their last report, the United Nations stated that there is no evidence of a military dimension of the nuclear program in Iran. So unless the countries that utilize the UN to sanctionize Iran can provide credible proof of such program, all we have here is another Iraq: lies and misinformation leading to yet another illegal war of aggression launched by the west at the cost of the civilian population.

      March 13, 2013 at 6:09 am | Reply
      • Thinker23

        If you think that there is no proof of a military dimension of the nuclear program in Iran you should have no troubles to explain HOW will Iran possibly use hundreds of its intermediate- and long ranbe nuclear capable ballistic missiles that are virtually harmless without proper warheads but cost at least $3 million apiece. I'm all ears...

        March 14, 2013 at 6:03 am |
      • Matt

        @Thinker: I refered to the report of the United Nations which clearly states that there is no evidence of a military dimension of their nuclear program.
        The fact that Iran has missiles is known and doesn't lead the international team of UN inspectors to come to a different conclusion.
        I am sure you will have no trouble explaining how the international experts come to this conclusion and to provide proof that they are wrong.

        March 14, 2013 at 6:35 am |
  2. KEVIN

    iran is so socially high functioning they make netanyahu look like a child having a temper tantrum, it is insane that we do not have better relations with them

    March 14, 2013 at 3:05 am | Reply
    • Thinker23

      Can you elaborate what exactly "socially high functioning" mean and how the "socially high functioning" of the Islamic Republic makes Israeli Prime Minister "look like a child having a temper tantrum"? Then we'll have a better opportunity to discuss who and what is "insane" and who is not.

      March 14, 2013 at 6:06 am | Reply
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