Saeed Jalili

Saeed Jalili, the head of Iran’s Supreme Council of National Security and the country’s top nuclear negotiator, said today that Iran considers the use of nuclear energy to be its absolute right, and by no means is that negotiable.

In a speech he gave at the University of Science and Technology as part of its “Resistance Economy” conference, Jalili said: “We will not accept any talk of suspension.”

In reference to nuclear talks with Western powers, Jalili said those powers should avoid miscalculation in their dealings with Iran.

Jalili gave a similar warning during former French prime minister Michel Rocard’s recent visit to Iran, criticizing public statements made by certain Western diplomats following the last round of nuclear talks in Istanbul. Jalili told Rocard that Iran will not look favourably on the “pressure approach.”

Iranian nuclear negotiators met with the G5+1 representatives on April 14 in Istanbul, and both sides declared that the talks were positive and constructive.

\Western diplomats have stressed since that Iran’s positive approach at the talks is the result of international sanctions taking effect; Jalili challenged this notion by saying sanctions have only strengthened national unity: “The pressures only deepen the connection between the people and the regime.”

Jalili emphasized that international sanctions have had no influence on Iran’s nuclear program.

Jalili said that in 2010, during talks in Geneva, Iran had announced that it was prepared to buy 20-percent-enriched uranium, but the offer was declined.

Then Iran announced that it would try to produce the 20-percent-enriched uranium domestically, Jalili said, but Western negotiators dismissed that as being beyond Iran’s technical prowess.

Uranium enrichment is a strong point of dispute with the world powers.

While some diplomats have indicated that the world powers will demand a complete suspension of Iran’s enrichment activities, other reports have indicated that the United States might be willing to accept some level of enrichment to continue in Iran.