Iranian President Hassan Rouhani
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani Reuters

Iran's President Hassan Rouhani insisted Sunday that Tehran has always sought a “total removal of all United Nations and UN Security Council sanctions imposed on Iran” and not merely the “suspension” of the embargoes.

Rouhani made the remarks while addressing a number of officials, according to the Tehran Times.

The cornerstone of the nuclear talks has been the “total removal of economic, financial, and banking sanctions imposed on Iran and we have never discussed the ‘suspension’ of sanctions,” Rouhani said. He claimed that the world has also realized that the Iranian nation “would never surrender to sanctions and pressure.”

“The people of Iran and [the people of] friendly states are happy with the [Lausanne] agreement while the unintelligent rivals and the enemies of the Islamic Republic of Iran are unhappy with the attained outcomes,” he said in reference to Thursday's tentative agreement between Iran and the P5+1 powers – the United States, Russia, China, Britain, France, and Germany.

Rouhani also denied that a more powerful Iran would seek to dominate the region. “The Islamic Republic of Iran never seeks to assault any countries, and our contemporary history is well indicative of this fact. However, we would stand up for our rights against anyone who intends to harass [our] people’s rights.”

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said Iran and the P5+1 group will meet next week to start working out a final agreement on Tehran's nuclear program, reported Malaysia's Bernama news agency.

Zarif said a final agreement is expected to be reached by the end of June, Azerbaijan's Trend news agency reported, citing Iranian media.

"The final agreement however is not a legal document and therefore is not binding," he said in an interview with Iranian state television.

Iran’s military chief, General Hassan Firouzabadi – a close ally of supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who has yet to comment on the agreement – were published Sunday on the Revolutionary Guards’ website.

Firouzabadi congratulated the Iranian leader on the “success of the team of Iranian negotiators" and thanked Rouhani and Zarif. 

Iranian Majles Speaker Ali Larijani, a conservative, described as “positive” the framework agreement, according to a report by ISNA news agency, as other members cautiously welcomed the deal.

“Criticism is useful, but we are in the middle of negotiations and it is not good to expose all the details,” he told state television in an interview aired on Saturday night.

“Trust us because we are also concerned. Let us negotiate for three months,” he said in reference to the June 30 deadline for the conclusion of a final agreement.