Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said Wednesday Tehran would not accept "unreasonable demands" by world powers during negotiations over its disputed nuclear program, including giving international inspectors access to his country's scientists or military sites.
A fact sheet on the framework accord issued by the U.S. State Department said Iran would be required to grant the U.N. nuclear agency access to any “suspicious sites.”
But Khamenei indicated that the U.S. is increasing its demands that international inspection of Iran's military sites and interviews with Iranian scientists be included in the final deal.
“The impudent and brazen enemy expects that we allow them talk to our scientists and researchers about a fundamental local achievement but no such permission will be allowed,” Khamenei told military commanders in Tehran Wednesday, in remarks broadcast on state TV. “No inspection of any military site or interview with nuclear scientists will be allowed.”
Khamenei, who has the final say for Iran on any deal, said, "We will never yield to pressure. ... We will not accept unreasonable demands."
Negotiators from Iran and a group that includes Britain, China, France, Russia, the United States and Germany have been working on the details of a final agreement to scale back Iran's nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief.
Iran reached a tentative deal with the powers on April 2 to allow U.N. inspectors to carry out more intrusive, short-notice inspections. But there have been sharply differing interpretations from both sides on the details of that access.
Negotiators have given themselves until June 30 for the final agreement. The talks are continuing Wednesday in Vienna with experts from both sides.
Iran has insisted its nuclear program is peaceful with applications for medical research and power generation, but not developing nuclear weapons.
Some material for this report provided by Reuters and AP.