Three days after Russia proposed a step-by-step plan to restart Iran’s stalled nuclear talks, Iranian Parliament rejected the plan, calling it “a return to the starting point.”
Khaneh Mellat News Agency reports that Alaeddin Boroujerdi, the head of Parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Commission, said: “Returning to the starting point cannot be the right path. Instead, Western countries should review the answers we have given to the [International Atomic Energy Agency]’s questions; it would jog their memory and help them recognize the peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear program.”
He added that Iran long ago had answered all questions posed by the IAEA and Western countries.
On Wednesday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov presented his U.S. counterpart with a “step-by-step” plan to encourage Iran to respond to questions about its nuclear program.
According to the plan, Iran would be called upon to answer questions from the IAEA, and with each answer, Iran would be rewarded with, for example, the lifting of an international sanction.
U.S. Secretary of State Hilary Clinton said the U.S. is committed to the dual policy of pressure and interaction with Iran but added that it is willing to consider more effective ways of interacting.
Mohammad Karamirad, another member of Iran’s National Security and Foreign Policy Commission, also rejected the Russian plan, accusing Russia of simply accommodating Western interests.
Karamirad added: “In this situation, Iran should take more calculated steps than in previous nuclear talks, because we have already concluded all nuclear discussions, and new conditions for resuming talks are not acceptable.”
In recent years, nuclear talks in Geneva and Istanbul between the G5+1 and Iran have come to an impasse. Iran has been slapped with extensive international and unilateral sanctions by the U.S. and the EU for the lack of progress in negotiations.
While the West says Iran’s nuclear program is suspect and may have military objectives, Iran denies the allegation and insists that its nuclear activities are all peaceful.