Friday, October 07, 2005

Majlis Rep: Must Defeat US and UK

Soheil Asefi, Rooz Online:
Following the recent developments regarding Iran’s nuclear issue and the meeting of a closed session of the Majlis (Parliament) over the issue with Ali Larijani and Iran’s negotiations team at the UN and the IAEA, Rooz discussed the issues with Kamal Daneshyar the chairman of the Majlis Energy committee who said that it is Britain that must change its ways. He called on the government to punish Britain and break off its diplomatic ties with that country. He also strongly criticized India for its support of the IAEA resolution against Iran. While also condemning the United States, he said one day we must talk to the Americans.

Daneshyar is a representative of the port town of Mahshahr on the Persian Gulf.

Excerpts: READ MORE

Q-It looks like Iran will be taken to the UN Security Council. Tell us how we got here.

A-The issue is very clear. We believe that the use of nuclear energy is the natural right of our nation. Thirty years ago an agreement was signed between us and the Europeans for the construction of nuclear power plants in Iran. Unfortunately after the passage of this period, these countries did not cooperate, forcing us to take the initiative into our own hands and independently develop the means for the nuclear fuel cycle and uranium enrichment. They opposed this. They accused us of pursing nuclear weapons. Many believed them. The International Atomic Energy Agency inspected our facilities and it became clear that Iran has acted according to the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty.

Q-But the IAEA also declared some other issues.

A-These are the propaganda of the Monafeqeen (the Monafeqeen is a term used to reference the Mojahedin Khalq militant group whose leaders primarily reside in Iraq and in France).

Q-Could we have done things to reduce their opposition?

A-No. There was no way. They would have done the same no matter what we may have done. They claim we have enriched uranium to more than 4 percent. The fact is that we had purchased contaminated equipment. If we retreat now, they will make new claims against us.

Q-On retreating. What is the difference between former president Khatami and president Ahmadinejad?

A-There is none. Things were the same even then. At that time an agreement was signed for us to stop enriching uranium. The agreement called for voluntary suspension. With that, the US thought that they had achieved their goal. Iran then clarified that the suspension was only temporary. In fact enrichment began towards the end of Khatami’s presidency. One of the steps in the enrichment process began under his watch.

Q-So where are we today regarding uranium enrichment?

A-If we assume that there are five stages to the enrichment process, we are implementing the first step.

Q-Why do you think India voted against us despite the expectations of Iranian officials and the extensive economies ties between the countries?

A-India made a big mistake. Iran must question it. Even the Indian public protested their government’s position in favor of the US. India itself is a nuclear power and so should not have behaved in this manner.

Q-The US is currently the global superpower. What kind of relations do we want to have with it?

A-We must get the fuel cycle. In the words of Imam Khomeini, the US cannot do anything. We need a non-fossil fuel.

Q-Can’t we acquire this non-fossil fuel from the Caspian sea?

A-After a hundred years of research in the Caspian region, no resources have been found. Fossil fuels are finite and will end at the most after twenty years. So we must build sufficient nuclear power plants within the next twenty years.

Q-Such a program requires the confidence and trust of the international community. What are the plans for that?

A-One of the items is the establishment of an international radio and television network for the Islamic Republic so that we can tell the world that we oppose war and weapons of mass destruction. We plan to allocate a budget of half a billion to the national Iranian radio and television network for this purpose.

Q-But the Islamic Republic currently operates a number of satellite television channels.

A-No. We suffer from this propaganda war. There are a hundred Americans or Israelis for every one Iranian who learns of a news. We must provide the national radio and television network with proper funding.

Q-What plans do we have in the sphere of diplomacy?

A-Our second point is diplomacy with other governments. There are two hundred countries around the world and 35 of them belong to the NPT. We must prove to all of them that we are not after the nuclear bomb.

Q-Following the recent developments regarding Iran’s nuclear issue, some of your supporters held a violent protest demonstration in front of the British embassy in Tehran and called for the repetition of the November 4, 1979 events (i.e. the take over of the US embassy by protesting students), which was violently stopped by the police. How do you evaluate Britain’s behavior?

A-We must strongly punish Britain. They have inflicted many cruelties on us. We must complain about them to the International Court of Justice. We must defeat both of these countries.

Q-So a break in relations with Britain is a possibility?

A-Yes. If we cut our diplomatic ties with them, this will be a good act. We saw Britain’s involvement in the recent events of Khuzestan province (bordering Iraq). In the nuclear issue, part of the propaganda against us is orchestrated by Britain. Britain conspires against the Muslims of the world. We must do something so that the British people remove their government with an honest one that supports human rights.

Q-What were the talks about in the closed Majlis session with Mr. Larijani and the negotiations team?

A-We almost unanimously agreed that we must defend this right of the Iranian nation till the end. We will under no circumstances fall short in defending the right of people to acquire nuclear technology. We decided to pursue confidence building measures for other nations and governments.

Q-In this process of confidence building, is it possible that the Islamic Republic would eventually hold negotiations with the United States?

A-Eventually we will talk with the US, but only when it stops playing the bully. They should return our assets and apologize to us completely. Then talks with the US will be possible.

Q-But ayatollah Khomeini had said that relations between the Islamic Republic and the US will always be similar to that between a wolf and a sheep.

A-This wolf and sheep means unjust relations. If they stop their malicious behavior towards us, then talks can be held.

Q-But according to ayatollah Khomeini this is the nature of the beast.

A-We must confront the US in a new way. So far we have looked at the US as one entity. Now we should establish relations with the American people.

Q-How can we hold talks with every American. The US government apparently represents the American people.

A-We can hold talks with the people. There are many justice seeking people in America. The American people are showing that they do accept the ways of their government. We are searching for ways so that the American people not support their government. Conditions are much better now for this. And they will get even better in this regard. This is a long struggle and we must combat the conspiracies of the one thousand families in the US, Britain and Israel.

Q-Will there be direct talks with the Iranian nation about the nuclear issue?

A-We must explain the main issue to the nation. We must get ideas from people.

Q-What is this “main issue”?

A-We must ask people to support this program. We must tell them that acquiring nuclear weapons is for their happiness.

Q-What impact will this have on their economic life?

A-It will effect everything.

Q-Because we are using Russian technology in our Bushehr nuclear power plant, there are people who are concerned about a repetition of the Chernobyl nuclear incident.

A-You know that we have requested the IAEA and reputable international companies that are not Russian to monitor our nuclear programs. With that, our work should be in accordance with standards and hopefully there will be no problems. We must build twenty such nuclear power plants.