“One hundred percent (no),” he said when asked whether he would concede to the demands of Israel and US hawks. The Iranian president stressed throughout the entire interview that Iran maintains the right to enrich uranium for peaceful purposes.
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Rohani also noted that the interim nuclear deal that was struck and the future negotiations with the world powers is "the best test” of whether trust could be restored between the US and Iran. “Iran-US problems are very complicated and cannot be resolved over a short period of time. Despite the complications, there has been an opening over the past 100 days, which can widen later,” he said.
The Iranian president also referred to a phone conversation he held with his US counterpart President Barack Obama and said: "I found him someone with very polite and smart language."
Rohani tried to minimize the effect of the sanctions on Iran and claimed in the interview that the improvement in economic conduct under his rule is the cause for the decline in inflation. “If you go through my program, you will see that under the existing sanctions we have managed to lower the inflation. Under the existing sanctions we have predicted that our economic growth rate will be positive (in the next Iranian fiscal year),” he said. “But, at the same time, if sanctions are lifted or eased, we can naturally see its impact on the economy.”
'Balance out concessions'
Meanwhile, Obama is taking heat from home. In an editorial released by the Washington Post on Friday, much criticism was expressed on the interim deal with Iran and the manner in which the White House performed.
The article notes that "the concessions made to Iran will have to be balanced by a major rollback of Iran’s nuclear infrastructure – with no automatic expiration date." The paper further notes a contradiction in US Secretary of State John Kerry's remarks, who said that Iran’s assertion of a "right to enrich” uranium would not be recognized in an interim deal, while the text says the “comprehensive solution” will “involve a mutually defined enrichment program with mutually agreed parameters.”
"In other words," the article reads, "the United States and its partners have already agreed that Iranian enrichment activity will continue indefinitely. In contrast, a long-standing US demand that an underground enrichment facility be closed is not mentioned."
The paper further criticizes the presentation of the agreement, by which a final accord will be completed within six months. The interim deal reads that after six months talks may continue when "the parties aim to conclude negotiating and commence implementing (in) no more than one year."
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