Iran Diplomatic Pick Issues Tough Words on ‘Nuclear Rights’

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Global Security Newswire Staff
Aug. 13, 2013, 10:02 a.m.

Ir­an’s for­eign min­is­ter-des­ig­nate on Tues­day told law­makers he would pro­tect the na­tion’s atom­ic work if they ap­prove his ap­point­ment, the As­so­ci­ated Press re­por­ted.

Mo­hammad Javad Za­rif said the for­eign min­istry “will not with­draw one iota” in de­fend­ing Ir­an’s “nuc­le­ar rights” his lead­er­ship. Speak­ing in an ad­dress car­ried on state tele­vi­sion, he non­ethe­less pledged to im­prove Tehran’s ties with oth­er gov­ern­ments.

Za­rif’s deep ex­per­i­ence in deal­ing with the United States promp­ted sig­nals of op­tim­ism about his pending nom­in­a­tion by Ir­a­ni­an Pres­id­ent Has­san Rouh­ani, who took of­fice a little over a week ago. Still, the nom­in­ee has faced mount­ing op­pos­i­tion by Ir­an’s con­ser­vat­ive-dom­in­ated par­lia­ment, which has been rankled by Za­rif’s abil­ity to meld in­to U.S. so­ci­ety when he was Tehran’s en­voy to the United Na­tions between 2002 and 2007, the Wash­ing­ton Post re­por­ted.

Tehran has been mired in ten­sions with Wash­ing­ton and oth­er West­ern gov­ern­ments, which be­lieve Ir­a­ni­an nuc­le­ar ef­forts are dir­ec­ted to­ward de­vel­op­ment of a nuc­le­ar-bomb cap­ab­il­ity. The Per­sian Gulf power has con­sist­ently denied that con­ten­tion.


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