The FINANCIAL -- World powers
must lift sanctions imposed on Iran if talks over its controversial
nuclear programme are to go forward, an influential lawmaker said on
The remarks by Aladin Borujerdi, chairman of parliament's foreign policy committee, come just days after Iran said it wanted the sanctions eased.
"Iran stresses that, in the nuclear negotiations, the sanctions must be lifted," Borujerdi was quoted as saying by the official IRNA news agency.
"It is the condition set by the majlis (parliament) that, for negotiations to continue, the sanctions must be lifted."
It was not immediately clear whether Borujerdi's statement reflects an official hardening of Tehran's stance, or whether it is purely his own view.
It was also not clear what steps parliament could and would take to block talks if the sanctions are not lifted.
On July 1, the EU imposed an oil embargo on Tehran, adding to US financial sanctions aimed at gutting Iran's vital oil exports, which account for half of government revenues.
As EUbusiness reported, in addition, Iran is under several sets of UN sanctions, imposed to force it to halt sensitive uranium enrichment, the most controversial part of Tehran's nuclear drive.
So far, Iran and the P5+1 group of powers -- the five permanent UN Security Council members plus Germany -- have failed to reconcile their views on the nuclear issue.
Two days of high-level talks in MOSCOW last month produced no progress and were followed by a meeting of experts in Istanbul in early July aimed at avoiding a total breakdown of diplomacy.
A statement from EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton after the Istanbul talks said the two sides continued to discuss the call for Iran to immediately stop enriching uranium to the high level of 20 percent in exchange for some forms of economic assistance.
Iran insists on its right to enrich uranium and has sought an end to oil sanctions.
Tehran has previously called for the sanctions to be eased, dubbing them as "hostile act against Iran."
Borujerdi also repeated Tehran's insistence that uranium enrichment is its irreversible right.
Iran will go forward (with enrichment) based on its requirements at the time," he said, adding that there is "a possibility that in the future instead of 20 percent we may have higher needs, and this right should exist."