Iran’s foreign minister delivered an English-language YouTube message before the start of the next round of talks over its nuclear program arguing that its “rights are not granted, and since they’re not granted, they cannot be seized.”
“What is dignity? What is respect? Are they negotiable? Is there a price tag? Imagine being told that you cannot do what everyone else is doing, what everyone else is allowed to do. Will you back down? Would you relent? Or would you stand your ground?” Javad Zarif said.
Zarif argued that nuclear energy is “about Iranian nation moving forward as an equal, in a new realm, defined by peace, by prosperity, by progress.”
The Obama administration is willing to bend on allowing Iran to have a nuclear energy program, but other countries including Israel, Saudi Arabia and France fear that the Islamic Republic will simply use this to mask its nuclear weapons development, as it has all along.
“This does not mean that we have hit a dead end. There is a way forward, a constructive path towards determining our destiny to advance, to make progress, to secure peace, to go forward,” Zarif continued. “The choice is not submission or confrontation. This past summer, our people chose constructive engagement through the ballot box, and through this they gave the world a historic opportunity to change course.”
“We all need a sober appreciation of our common destiny, our common challenges and our common opportunities. We also need the conviction that imposition is not sustainable, a conviction that we cannot gain at the expense of others, a conviction that we either win together or lose together. That balance is key to success,” he added.
“Honest dialogue and real confidence, this is all dependent on equal footing, mutual respect and common interest, but more so, on dignity for all. We promise this to our people and to the world, and we always keep our promises.”
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu flew to Russia today to lobby for a tougher stance against Iran in talks.
“Our job is to try to sway the Russians, as we have been doing with all the players,” said Deputy Israeli Foreign Minister Ze’ev Elkin. “Russia is not going to adopt Israeli positions wholesale. But any movement, even small, in the Russian position can affect the negotiations.”