Not only is Iran not going to dismantle any of its nuclear facilities as part of an effort to reach a long-term agreement to limit its nuclear development, it will also construct a second nuclear reactor at Bushehr, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said in comments over the weekend.
Addressing provincial managers and officials of Bushehr province on Saturday night, Rouhani said "Based on our estimates, the second nuclear power plant will be built in the same province and I hope that we can use the facilities of this province," Fars News reported. According to the report, Iran has identified 34 locations throughout the country where new nuclear facilities could be built.
Asked in an interview with The Financial Times published Friday, if dismantling Iran's nuclear facilities was a "red line," Rouhani said: "100 percent."
"The nuclear activities of the Islamic Republic of Iran as has been repeatedly said will be purely for peaceful purposes," Rouhani said.
But he also told the newspaper how much uranium is enriched by Iran will "depend on our needs for nuclear fuel."
Rouhani gave the interview as he marked his 100th day as Iran's president. He told the The Financial Times that the agreement hammered out in Geneva is an important first step to see if a mutual trust can be built with the United States.
"The problems created over 35 years cannot be resolved over a limited time. The best test to see whether we are capable of building trust or not is this nuclear issue," he said.
"If the first steps taken in Geneva are implemented carefully and precisely, it would mean that we have taken one step forward towards trust."
He also said a recent telephone call with British Prime Minister David Cameron left him with "a feeling that the two sides were willing to move step by step towards better relations."
Iran's foreign minister, meanwhile, said Friday that his country will not enter nuclear talks with its arch-enemy Israel, the country's official news agency reported.
A report by IRNA quoted Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif as saying that Islamic republic "would not attend a meeting in which the occupying regime participates."
The report said Zarif's remarks were in response to possible Israeli participation in talks between Iran and six world powers over Tehran's nuclear program. It did not elaborate on the source of the reports on Israel's possible presence.
"Such a thing will never happen and we definitely will not be in the room in which representatives from the Zionist regime will have presence," Zarif said.
Zarif said instead of putting pressure on Iran, the world powers should try to push for regional disarmament, a reference to disarming Israel's own alleged nuclear arsenal. Israel is widely believed to have atomic weapons but does not acknowledge having a nuclear arsenal.
"We do consider the Zionist regime as the biggest regional and world danger," he said.
Iranian nuclear envoy Reza Najafi also criticized Israel on Friday in a statement to the United Nations nuclear agency, which will monitor the agreement reached in Geneva.
"Israel ... is crying wolf about nuclear proliferation concerns," Najafi told the International Atomic Energy Agency. "This regime (has) a long history of aggression against neighbors, atrocity against peoples under occupation and clandestine development of all kinds of [weapons of mass destruction]."
Joseph Macmanus, the chief U.S. delegate to the IAEA, told The Associated Press that Najafi's anti-Israel comments were "inflammatory ... and wrong."
Najafi also told the agency that said the proposed nuclear deal likely will start to be implemented at the end of next month or in early January. Diplomats told the AP on Wednesday that they did not expect the deal to begin before the start of the new year.
In Iran, most have supported the nuclear deal, though some hard-liners remain suspicious. On Friday, most clerics who led Friday prayers across Iran gave sermons discussing their support for the Geneva deal, while calling it a failure for Israel.