No nuke deal if not for full sanction relief, Iran says
Economic sanctions crippling Iran economy must go right after agreement is signed, Tehran leaders say.

Iran will reject a nuclear deal with major powers unless all economic sanctions targeting its economy are lifted immediately after the deal is inked, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said Thursday.

"We are not seeking to defeat anyone in the negotiations," Iran’s official news agency IRNA quoted Rouhani as saying at a ceremony to mark Iran’s National Nuclear Technology Day. "We are after protecting our rights. We prefer a win-win deal."

Tehran and world powers reached a historic deal last week, which is expected to pave the way for a final agreement that would help ensure Iran’s nuclear program remains peaceful.

Meanwhile, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said Thursday that he is "neither in favor nor against” the statement issued at the end of the nuclear talks in Switzerland on April 2, IRNA reported.

Khamenei said congratulations sent to him were meaningless, stressing that he would only support an agreement that would "safeguard national interests and dignity.”

Khamenei also said sanctions must be removed on the day the deal takes effect.

Tehran and P5+1 countries reached a landmark deal last week that promises to put to end fears that Iran is working to acquire a nuclear weapon. The parties agreed to curb Iran’s nuclear activities on a long-term basis, and in return remove the sanctions that have taken their toll on the Iranian economy.

Following Thursday’s framework agreement, negotiators have until June 30 to reach a final agreement on Iran’s nuclear program.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry had recently suggested that a final agreement would cause sanctions to be removed in phases, rather than immediately.

Kerry's spokeswoman Marie Harf said in a statement that, at first, sanctions would be suspended and not lifted.

Iranian officials protested, saying the basis for negotiations that led to the framework deal had been the full removal of sanctions.

Last Modified: 2015-04-10 10:38:07
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