Top Iranian Nuclear Official Ali Larijani: Our Response to Sanctions Will Be Painful to the West and Will Make It Shiver with Cold
Following are excerpts from a press conference with Ali Larijani, Secretary, Iranian Supreme Council for National Security, which aired on Iranian News Channel (IRINN) on August 6, 2006:To view the video click here.
Ali Larijani: Iran's nuclear technology is for peaceful purposes. We accept the inspection of the IAEA, and we are NPT members. We are committed to the NPT regulations. We are a country that acts responsibly within the world order. Therefore, we respect IAEA inspection, in accordance with the safeguard agreements. Therefore, we will develop our nuclear activity where necessary. We will develop all aspects of Iran's nuclear technology, including the chains [of centrifuges].
The root of most conflicts between countries in the region, or between Shiites and Sunnis, lies in America's behavior. They are the ones who make provocations. We have information that the US ambassador in Iraq held a meeting with several terrorist groups in Iraq, and told them three things. he told them, first of all, to stop aiming their rifles at America. Second, he told them to direct their struggle towards Iran, and third, to direct it towards the Shiites in Iraq. READ MORE
We continue on our path with perseverance. I promise you that such [Security Council] resolutions will not affect Iran's nuclear conduct in any way. We will develop Iran's nuclear activity. Therefore, they will have to decide if their behavior will not, in fact, further reduce IAEA inspection. We do not want this to happen. So you don't do anything that would force Iran to do it.
Reporter: Dr. Larijani, let me quote Mr. Joschka Fischer. You will probably say you never heard this...
Ali Larijani: This thing with Mr. Fischer is very peculiar...
Reporter: Yes, he came quietly to Iran, and left quietly. While he was in Iran, he emphasized Europe has a united position regarding Iran's nuclear program, and said: "We are willing to shiver with cold for two or three winters..."
Ali Larijani: What?
Reporter: He said: "We are willing to shiver with cold for two or three winters if the price of oil reaches 200 dollars or even more." To what extent, in your opinion, can Iran's oil play a role in the nuclear talks? Will Europe come to terms with it?
Ali Larijani: Those who want to shiver with cold - let them shiver. What can we do? We cannot advise them what to do. In any case, it depends on the decisions they make. This issue has many aspects. In some respects, they will have to shiver. We don't want anyone in the world to shiver. We want everybody to have a good life. We don't want to use the weapon of oil, but they are the ones who are forcing certain issues.
Naturally, and in light of their behavior, Iran must be allowed to defend its rights. As I have said before, the Iranian nuclear issue is not a complicated matter, and it can be resolved through negotiations. Those who want to use force complicate the issue even further. The region does not have the capacity for additional complex phenomena. We will not be the first in this matter, but if behave this way, they will have to bear the consequences.
It will be interesting for you to know that during the previous talks, some experts from various countries, as well as some people in Iran, said: "Why are you increasing the costs, since, after all, the products of the UCF in Esfahan are defective? Why are you increasing the country's costs?" We operated the UCF in Esfahan, and injected its product [UF6] into the centrifuges. It was very satisfactory. It was clear that they were conducting psychological warfare. The same happened with regard to the centrifuges.
When we exerted pressure, saying Iran should have nuclear knowledge, one of the [European] parties to the negotiations said to us: "We don't want you to have nuclear knowledge." We said: "It's none of your business. It's up to the Iranian people. You can say we must not turn to nuclear weapons, but you cannot say we must not have nuclear knowledge." Interestingly, within Iran itself, some people said that our centrifuges are defective and are do not meet the requirements. As you've seen, we operated the chain [of centrifuges], and got the product. This too was psychological warfare.
What you said about sanctions - this is not an immediate issue. If you recall, they wanted to use this leverage two years ago, saying that if Iran did not suspend [its nuclear activity], there would be resolutions and sanctions. This is not a simple matter. This will have many ramifications in the international arena. They will be harmed more than us. We control all aspects of this issue. They must not think we will not respond if they hurt us. They must not force us to make them shiver with cold, and make them face more problems. We don't want to take this path, but if they do, they will have to bear the consequences. This is not immediate, but if they do so, we will respond in a manner that will be sufficiently painful to them.