TYPE: CN ))
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani says his country will not stop its nuclear enrichment activity, while pledging to have "constructive interaction" with the international community.
Mr. Rouhani said in an interview on IRIB television that Iran has a right to enrichment and will never stop.
"I want to assure our people that the principles set by people, the rights which belong to the people, the framework which the Supreme Leader has set, these will be applied until the end of the negotiations. Meaning that in the country, our nuclear right will be operational with more strength and clarity. Even the right of enrichment which is a part of our nuclear rights will continue. It (enrichment) is being continued today, it will continue tomorrow, and our enrichment will never stop. This is our red line. The enrichment in Iran will never be stopped and this is our red line. Enrichment is our clear line, whether some tend to like it and some not."
He spoke days after Iran agreed to an interim deal with the permanent members of the United Nations Security Council and Germany to limit portions of its nuclear program in exchange for targeted relief from international sanctions.
Under the six-month agreement, Iran can continue enriching uranium, but only up to 5 percent, a level that is suitable for generating power. Iran must neutralize its stock of 20-percent-enriched uranium, which can be used for medical research but is also a short step from the level needed to create a nuclear bomb.
Mr. Rouhani said his government's goal is to end the sanctions imposed by the Security Council and individual nations, which want Iran to halt its enrichment because of fears it has been trying to develop nuclear weapons. Iran has repeatedly insisted that its enrichment is only for peaceful purposes.
The president pledged to work with the nations involved in the interim deal -- the United States, Britain, France, China, Russia and Germany -- in order to reach a comprehensive agreement.
The two sides have said that a long-term solution would include "practical limits" and transparency to ensure Iran's nuclear work is peaceful, while giving Iran full sanctions relief.