A senior Iranian general said Friday that Western demands that Iran allow inspection of its military sites as part of a future nuclear deal would receive “a response with lead.”
Brigadier General Amir Ali Hajizadeh, head of the Revolutionary Guards Corps’s aerospace arm, said that Iran would never accept Western powers’ insistence on inspection of suspected nuclear sites housed in military facilities, calling it tantamount to allowing them to spy on the Iranian military.
“We will not allow inspection of Iran’s military and defense centers and control over them under any pretext, and we see the West’s request as officially asking for spying on Iran,” Hajizadeh was quoted by the semi-official Fars news agency as saying.
He went on to call the demands “cruel”, “irrational” and “illegal,” adding that “Iran will not allow them to do managed or unmanaged inspection of its military and defense sites from any distance and in any form, and will give such demands a response that spying actions deserve, a response with lead.”
Hajizadeh was joined by Iranian MP Alaeddin Boroujerdi, who said the Islamic republic’s nuclear activities were “transparent,” rejecting the possibility of foreign inspection of nuclear sites, Iran’s official news agency reported.
Iran and world powers are to resume talks in the Austrian capital next week on drafting a final accord on the country’s nuclear program, a senior Iranian negotiator said Friday.
“The discussions are to resume on Tuesday in Vienna,” said Abbas Araqchi, quoted by Mehr news agency from Vienna at the end of three days of talks at which he led the Iranian team.
The United States as well as Britain, China, France, Russia and Germany are in the midst of negotiations with Tehran to finalize a deal by June 30 that would prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons in exchange for an easing of crippling economic sanctions.
For several weeks, political and technical experts have been trying to finalize the terms of a final agreement. The latest was the fourth round of talks since an interim deal was agreed on April 2.
US President Barack Obama on Friday reiterated Washington’s demand that Iran’s nuclear facilities undergo thorough inspections as part of a nuclear agreement between world powers and Tehran.
“I’m interested in a deal that blocks every single one of Iran’s pathways to a nuclear weapon — every single path,” he said. “A deal that imposes unprecedented inspections on all elements of Iran’s nuclear program, so that they can’t cheat.”