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News number: 9203180130

15:13 | 2013-06-08


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Presidential Candidate: Iran Not to Withdraw from N. Rights

TEHRAN (FNA)- Supreme Leader's top aide Ali Akbar Velayati, who is also a candidate in Iran's presidential election, underlined that his future government will not retreat from Iran's declared nuclear stances, although it will continue talks with the world powers if he is elected as president.

"I will continue nuclear negotiations powerfully, and based on the policies of the Supreme Leader (of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei) and thoughtful policies I will not withdraw from the people's rights in this field," Velayati said, addressing people in the Western city of Shahr-e-Kord on Saturday.

"Diplomacy is an art," he said, and added, "Diplomacy should be conducted smartly and vigilantly and it is not just limited to the negotiating table," he added.

Ali Akbar Velayati, a politician, academic and diplomat, served for two terms as minister of foreign affairs from 1981 to 1989 when Ayatollah Khamenei was Iran's president. He remained in the post for two more terms under then President Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani from 1989 to 1997.

Iran's nuclear standoff with the West constitutes a major part of campaign debates these days.

On April 6, Iran and the six world powers (China, Russia, Britain, France, US and Germany) wrapped up two days of intensive negotiations in Almaty.

The Iranian team was led by Iran's Top Negotiator Saeed Jalili, who is also the Secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) and a presidential candidate, and the G5+1's representatives were presided by EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton.

Analysts believe that the talks will continue after the upcoming presidential election in Iran since no substantial development or agreement can take place in the two months left to the voting.

Jalili had a round of bilateral talks with Ashton in Istanbul on May 15.

Later, Jalili said the outcome of the country's next presidential election in June will not influence the talks between Tehran and the Group 5+1.

"There is a national consensus in Iran on how to proceed with the country's nuclear program and the next president will vibrantly defend the rights of the Iranian nation," Jalili said, addressing a press conference in Istanbul.

The 11th presidential election will take place on June 14, 2013.

Iran has so far ruled out halting or limiting its nuclear work in exchange for trade and other incentives, saying that renouncing its rights under the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) would encourage the world powers to put further pressure on the country and would not lead to a change in the West's hardline stance on Tehran.

Iran is under four rounds of UN Security Council sanctions for turning down West's calls to give up its right of uranium enrichment. The United States and the European Union have ratcheted up their sanctions on Iran this year to force it to curb its nuclear program.

Iranian officials have always shrugged off the sanctions, saying that pressures make them strong and reinvigorate their resolve to further move towards self-sufficiency.