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Iran doesn’t expect deal in coming nuclear talks

TEHRAN, Iran – Iran’s foreign minister said Sunday his country does not expect to cement a final deal in the coming round of nuclear talks with world powers.

Mohammad Javad Zarif spoke to reporters after meeting his Belorussian visiting counterpart, Vladimir Makei.

“We don’t expect to reach a deal in this round of talks. Nor was a deal on the agenda for this round of talks. We have agreed to discuss a number of issues in this round,” Zarif said.

Zarif said Tehran and world powers will discuss “dimensions” of Iran’s nuclear activities like uranium enrichment, a heavy water reactor as well as sanctions in the Tuesday and Wednesday talks in Vienna.

“We will also discuss international cooperation in the field of peaceful nuclear technology,” Zarif said.

Iran capped uranium enrichment after a deal in November for a six month period, in return for easing sanctions by the West.

That interim agreement is meant to lead to a final accord that minimizes any potential Iranian nuclear weapons threat in return for a full lifting of sanctions.

Meanwhile, 200 Iranian lawmakers issued a statement urging Tehran’s negotiators not to withdraw from the “rights of the Iranian nation.” Iran says it has the right under the U.N.’s Non-Proliferation Treaty to enrich uranium.

Many Iranian hardliners believe the Iranian team has given too many concessions to the West in return for too little.

The West suspects Iran’s nuclear program has a military dimension. Tehran denies the charge saying its nuclear program has aimed at peaceful purposes like power generation and medical treatment.

They lawmakers said Iranian negotiators should not accept any discussion of the country’s military and missile programs, which Tehran says have no connection to its nuclear program.

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