Nuclear talks in Geneva
Nuclear talks in Geneva Reuters

An Iranian official said on Saturday that Iran believes nuclear talks with six world powers have to be concluded by the November 24 deadline.

According to the IRNA news agency, Ali Akbar Velayati, head of the Center for Strategic Research of Iran's Expediency Council, made the comments to reporters after a meeting with Norwegian Foreign Minister Borge Brende.

Velayati said Iran has never rejected negotiations and is confident about what it has done with regard to its nuclear program.

It was crystal clear from the very beginning that that the Iranian nuclear program has been designed for civilian purpose, he claimed, according to IRNA.

"Day in and day out the mankind's need for nuclear energy is growing and the western governments cannot dictate the Iranian government to stop the national nuclear program designed in line with Non-Proliferation Treaty and the Safeguards of the International Atomic Energy Agency," he said.

Velayati reiterated that Iranian nuclear sites are open to international inspections, adding that all the reports issued by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) so far have verified non-diversion of the Iranian nuclear program and that Iran has no nuclear weapons program.

He called for Iran's confidence-building measures to be reciprocated by the western governments.

"We kept our promises, but unfortunately they failed to do so and the Americans intensified the sanctions instead. Sometimes, they make unconventional remarks which are criticized by impartial countries across the globe," he charged.

Iran and the six powers are trying to reach an agreement on a permanent nuclear deal by a November 24 deadline that was set when the sides failed to reach an agreement before a previous deadline in July.

Iran, however, has been toughening its stance in recent weeks. Senior Iranian negotiator Abbas Araqchi said last week he sees no prospect for a deal unless the other side abandons its “illogical excessive demands”.

This week, a senior Iranian official declared that Iran will demand that all Western sanctions be lifted as part of a final deal, rejecting an American proposal of a gradual lifting of sanctions.