1. Skip to content
  2. Skip to main menu
  3. Skip to more DW sites

Iran will not back down from 'nuclear rights'

April 9, 2022

With talks on reviving the Iran nuclear deal at a standstill, President Ebrahim Raisi said Tehran will continue with its nuclear program.

A handout picture provided by the Iranian presidency shows President Ebrahim Raisi speaking with officials during Iran's "Day of Nuclear Technology"
Iran's President Raisi said that the country's nuclear research would continue, regardless of the talks in ViennaImage: Iranian Presidency/ZUMAPRESS.com/picture alliance

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi said on Saturday that Tehran will press forward with its nuclear program plans, and told world powers involved in negotiations to respect the decision.

Talks on reviving the 2015 Iran nuclear deal have ground to a halt in Vienna, with Iran and the United States not budging on remaining issues.

What did Raisi say?

The Iranian leader struck a defiant tone during a speech marking the country's "Nuclear Technology Day."

"For more than the one-hundredth time, our message from Tehran to Vienna is that we will not back off from the Iranian people's nuclear rights... not even an iota," state media quoted Raisi as saying.

The 61-year-old leader, who was elected last August, said his administration will support efforts to speed up nuclear technology research — which he said was intended for "peaceful" projects.

In this handout photo, Iran's centrifuge machines are seen at a uranium enrichment facility in central Iran
In this 2019 handout photo, Iran's centrifuge machines are seen at a uranium enrichment facilityImage: AEOI/ZUMA Wire/imago images

"Our knowledge and technology in the nuclear field is not reversible. Iran's (continuation of) research in peaceful nuclear fields will not depend on others' demands or viewpoints,'' said Raisi, who came to power in August.

The US and others have long voiced concerns that Iran is moving closer towards being able to build a nuclear weapon, if Tehran decided to construct one.

Why are the Vienna talks stalled? 

Indirect talks between Iran and the US have been underway for the past 11 months in Vienna.

The discussions hope to salvage the 2015 Iran nuclear deal known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

Washington unilaterally exited the deal in 2018 under former President Donald Trump and reimposed stiff sanctions against Iran.

The negotiations have stalled, however, with both Washington and Tehran saying the other side needs to take action to settle remaining disputes.

The remaining sticking points reportedly include the status of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) which is currently on the US foreign terrorist organizations blacklist.

Ukraine war threatens Iran nuclear talks

What is the status of Iran's nuclear program?

On Saturday, the head of Iran's civilian Atomic Energy Organization, Mohammad Eslami, announced that the country will move forward with plans to build a new nuclear power plant.

The 360-megawatt capacity plant is slated for construction in the southwestern Khuzestan province.

The country's only nuclear power plant currently has a 1,000-megawatt capacity. It went online in 2011 in the southern port city of Bushehr after receiving help from Russia.

Nuclear nonproliferation experts have voiced increasing concern, however, about  Iran's stockpile of enriched uranium.

The stockpile is currently up to 60% purity — the highest level Iran has yet achieved, and growing closer to the weapons-grade level of 90%.

The stockpile also far exceeds the 2015 nuclear deal's 3.67% enriched uranium cap.

rs/aw (AP, Reuters)

Can Iranian oil substitute Russian supplies?