On the eve of renewed nuclear talks between Iran and the 5+1 Powers, the Islamic Republic’s media are playing up hope of a comprehensive agreement.
Press TV features the remarks of Iranian negotiator Hamid Baidinezhad about three days of technical discussions which ended in Vienna on Saturday: “A series of topics…were discussed…which incorporated different aspects of various issues.”
The expert talks precede the resumption of high-level discussions on Monday, the third round since February on a final deal.
In November, Iran and the 5+1 (US, UK, Britain, France, Russia, Germany, and China) signed an interim accord on Tehran’s enrichment of uranium and US-led sanctions. The two sides are hoping for a comprehensive deal before the expiry of the interim measures in July.
On Saturday, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Marzieh Afkham criticized US hardliners whom she said were trying to block progress:
Threats and pressure against the Iranian nation has no influence. Only negotiation based on mutual respect… and recognition of the absolute rights of the Iranian nation would yield results.
However, Iran’s own hardliners will present a challenge to the talks on Sunday. A group of MPs, angered by a European Parliament resolution expressing grave concern over human rights in the Islamic Republic, are tabling a motion calling for the negotiations to be suspended if there is “no serious reaction” to the European measure.
Iranian Parliament Threatens Sanctions Against Europe Over Human Rights Resolution
Continuing Tehran’s denunciation of a European Parliament resolution highlighting human rights in the Islamic Republic, Iranian lawmakers have threatened sanctions against European countries.
MPs have put out an eight-paragraph plan of retaliatory measures, calling on the Government to reconsider political and economic relations with European countries who voted for Thursday’s resolution.
The European resolution expressed grave concern over the human rights situation in Iran and the “continued, systemic violation of fundamental rights” in the country, and called on the members of the European Union to “mainstream human rights in all of its relations with Iran”.
The bill in the Iranian Majlis responds by mandating that no European Parliament office can be opened in Iran. No official or delegation from European countries can meet an Iranian representative without “prior consent and legal permission”.
The legislators are also threatening a cut-off of cooperation with the UN Human Rights Commission and reconsideration of Iranian measures against the transit of narcotics through Iran to Europe.
Speaker of Parliament Ali Larijani said on Saturday that the “imprudent” European resolution was “a cheap work which indicates the lack of and the wrong understanding of these people”.