Ayatollah Khamenei’s comments were made during a speech broadcast live on Iranian television, ahead of the looming June 30th deadline between the P5+1 and the Islamic Republic.
The Supreme Leader stated: “Freezing Iran’s Research and Development (R&D) for a long time like 10 or 12 years is not acceptable”.
A key demand of the P5+1 as set out in the framework to a comprehensive nuclear deal in agreed April, is Iran’s commitment to a verifiable halt of at least 10 years on the country’s sensitive nuclear R&D.
Addressing the issue of critical international inspections at military sites, which the international community suspects are being used to aid a nuclear armament programme, Khamenei said, “Inspection of our military sites is out of the question and is one of our red lines”.
In April 2015, the P5+1 and Iran announced the proposed parameters of a future comprehensive nuclear deal determining limits on Iran’s nuclear programme to be negotiated and signed before June 30th 2015. However, both sides have since disagreed on fundamental issues, including Iran’s use of advanced centrifuges, the pace of sanctions relief, and provisions for inspections by the International Atomic Energy Agency.
On the subject of sanctions, Ayatollah Khamenei demanded that “all financial and economic sanctions imposed by the U.N. Security Council, the U.S. Congress or the U.S. government should be lifted immediately” upon the signing of a deal.
In another major setback to nuclear talks, Iranian lawmakers also voted to pass legislation yesterday to deny IAEA inspectors crucial access to military sites to verify the country’s nuclear activities. The bill sets out three criteria that must be met by any deal reached with the United States and five other world powers.
First is the “complete and unified lifting on the day of agreement of all sanctions imposed through the UN Security Council, the US Congress and the European Union”.
Secondly, the bill states that although the International Atomic Energy Agency will be authorised to conduct “conventional supervision” of Iran’s nuclear sites “access to all documents, scientists and military/security sites…is forbidden under any pretext”.
Thirdly, the bill states: “No limit will be accepted on Iran acquiring peaceful nuclear knowledge and technology and the materials required for research and development”.