News » Politic
25 June 2009
| Don’t Think that Life Is Limited to Elections
President of the Center for Strategic Research took part in an interview with managing editors and senior journalists of domestic newspapers, news agencies and websites on Wednesday (June 3) to discuss the most important domestic political developments.
During the press conference, most of which was focused on the Iranian nuclear program, Dr. Hassan Rouhani underlined the need for people’s high election turnout, adding that the enthusiasm among people promises lively elections and people’s high turnout will ensure stability of the system. He added that media crew, therefore, should encourage the people to avail of their citizenship right and take part in election.
Member of Assembly of Experts criticized false demarcations among the ranks of the nation, saying, “Some false demarcations like dividing the Iranian nation into ‘poor’ and ‘rich’, ‘urban’ and ‘rural’, or ‘religious’ and ‘irreligious’ will mar national unity. We must not say that the poor vote for one candidate and the rich for another. Now, in the age of information, there is no deep divide between big cities, small cities and villages and the entire nation is moving in the same direction. We must not claim that supporters of one candidate are religious and supporters of another are not. All Iranian citizens poor or rich, urban or rustic are part of the nation and their votes are of the same value.”
Member of the Expediency Council also stated that another important issue is healthy election. “The Supreme Leader has emphasized on holding healthy election and executive bodies are legally, religiously and morally duty-bound to hold healthy election. God willing, the incoming election will be quite healthy, but public’s trust in that matter should be increased.”
He also added that representatives of candidates should be present at the polling centers and they are entitled to oversee all stages of the election. “The laws have stipulated that preventing presence of the representatives of candidates at polling centers is an ‘offence’ and anybody doing that will be considered an offender.”
Rouhani further stated, “We hope that what we hear about some candidates using public properties in their election campaign is not true. Otherwise, the question would be why the Guardian Council does not protest to that.”
President of the Center for Strategic Research also noted that according to the law, people in charge of elections like governors general, governors, district governors, minister of interior and members of the Guardian Council should play no role in or against this or that candidate.
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s verbal attacks on Sa'dabad Statement and uranium suspension
Former secretary of the Supreme National Security Council was then asked about President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s recent rhetoric against the Sa'dabad Statement and suspension of uranium enrichment. He said, “In order to analyze a phenomenon realistically, it should be studied within its specific time and place. In September 2003, the Board of Governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency passed a unanimous resolution against Iran considering a 50-day deadline for the country. At that time Afghanistan and Iraq had been occupied by the United States and US senators claimed that it was Iran’s turn. At that time foreign ministers of three European countries wrote a letter to their Iranian counterpart on August 6, 2003 requesting total halt of all nuclear activities of Iran. Next day, on August 7, 2003, a similar request was put forth by the Russian foreign minister.”
Rouhani added, “When the United States and Israel were trying to refer Iran’s case to the United Nations Security Council and while Zionist circles had started the countdown to invasion of Iran and international consensus was against the Islamic Republic of Iran, the IRI establishment decided to end that consensus and isolate the United States and Israel. I ask President Ahmadinejad to say that whether it was a good measure or not. The then US secretary of state said in an interview in March 2005 that the United States intended to isolate Iran, but the opposite had happened. So, does President Ahmadinejad consider that confession (by the US that it had been isolated) good or bad?”
President of the Center for Strategic Research continued by saying, “Mr. Ahmadinejad has frequently proudly said that the International Atomic Energy Agency has verified the peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear program. I ask him which period’s achievement is this. The policies of the Islamic system and our negotiations caused Mr. ElBaradei to announce in his November 2004 report to the Board of Governors that there has been no diversion in Iran’s nuclear program. Therefore, Mr. Ahmadinejad should say was it good that we proved the peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear program or not? Was it good to prevent sanctions against Iran or bad?”
The former chief nuclear negotiator also stated that there are many unexplored angles to the nuclear case. “We have a lot to say and they should not believe that the life is limited to few election days and try to promote themselves by spreading lies through official tribunes. We will not leave this issues and one day; all people will get to know the facts.”
Rouhani said a goal of nuclear negotiations was to create a suitable opportunity to complete the fuel cycle. “We had no UF6 up to that time and needed time to finish Isfahan uranium enrichment facility (UCF) and the one in Natanz. Despite all lies, I should say that during 22 months when I was in charge of the nuclear case, our facilities in Isfahan, Arak, Natanz and Bandar Abbas and our huge research projects were never suspended even for a moment. The Islamic Republic of Iran accepted limited suspension, but never accepted total suspension. Our general policy was to suspend those parts which had been completed in order to finish incomplete parts. Therefore, after Sa'dabad negotiations, completion of Isfahan facilities continued round-the-clock and it was finally finished.”
Former chief nuclear negotiator also noted that Isfahan UCF was launched in April 2004 and was finished at the end of that year. “I ask Mr. Ahmadinejad that if your allegations are true and you think that everything was suspended after Sa'dabad negotiations, how we managed to inaugurate Isfahan UCF in April 2004 (six months after Sa'dabad talks)? I ask Mr. Ahmadinejad to ask those who are aware of facts to get more information. According to a report by IAEA in December 2004, the number of the Iranian centrifuges during the Sa'dabad negotiations was less than 160, which increased to, at least, 1,274 in December. I ask Mr. Ahmadinejad if according to his allegations all nuclear activities had been suspended, how we could build about 1,000 centrifuges in a year?”
Rouhani noted that the government claimed that enrichment has been launched under the ninth government while ElBaradei had noted in an interview in March 2003 that Iran had achieved uranium enrichment technology and had joined the ten countries mastering that technology. “During 22 months that I led the nuclear case, all the facilities were working round the clock in three work shifts. It is a big lie to say that Natanz had been suspended. We had only suspended introduction of gas into centrifuges not other activities in Natanz. I don’t know why they insist to distort facts and discredit the system to gain a few more votes?”
He added, “Mr. Ahmadinejad has said on several occasions that when he won the presidential race, all nuclear activities had been suspended and our scientists were idle. For his information, I emphasize that production of yellow cake in Bandar Abbas has never been suspended even for a single moment. The same is true about the heavy water project and reactor in Arak. Infrastructural activities in Natanz did not stop even for a moment. Supplementary activities in Isfahan were not shut down for a second. Research and development activities were never stopped and IAEA reports show that research on P-2 centrifuges continued incessantly. I don’t know who tells Mr. Ahmadinejad that all Iranian nuclear research laboratories were closed. However, if Mr. Ahmadinejad is not saying this to deceive the public opinion, I frankly tell him that all these reports are false.”
Mr. Ahmadinejad’s rhetoric about the Additional Protocol
In another part of the interview, Rouhani explained about Mr. Ahmadinejad’s criticism of the implementation of the Additional Protocol before the parliament’s ratification and said, “Firstly, Mr. Ahmadinejad is well aware that an early agreement by the government to implement different protocols is in the government’s power and they become final after the parliament passes them. However, for more information, I should say that the sixth parliament had put a triple urgency plan on its agenda to force the government implement the Additional Protocol. It was us that did not allow this to happen. We did not want to do that because we maintained that we had to first get necessary concessions. Mr. Ahmadinejad’s allegations in this regard, are not understandable like many other things that he says. Now, the secretariat of the Supreme National Security Council is controlled by Mr. Ahmadinejad and he has easy access to the documents. Therefore, I really don’t understand why he says such things. Signing the Additional Protocol was a decision by the Supreme National Security Council and he can ask informed people about the procedure.”
The former secretary of the Supreme National Security Council noted that the former nuclear negotiating team imposed no obligations on the country and even with regard to the suspension and implementation of the Additional Protocol which were required by the international community and the IAEA Board of Governors, “we got the European countries and the Board of Governors to admit that both suspension and implementation of the Additional Protocol were “voluntary” and “nonbinding” measures. In return, we got many concessions including prevention of the UN Security Council involvement in the case, preventing sanctions to be imposed on Iran, starting negotiations for accession to the World Trade Organization and membership in MNA committee.”
In another part of the interview, Hassan Rouhani responded to Mr. Ahmadinejad’s criticism of the Brussels Agreement and said, “At that time, we agreed to suspend part making and assembling centrifuges and, in return, the European Union was to support normalization of Iran’s nuclear dossier in the next meeting of the Board of Governors. I clearly announce that critics know nothing about the legal and international issues and do not know what normalization of Iran’s case would mean. If the case had been normalized in the June 2004 meeting of the Board, Iran could have continued enrichment with no problem. Following the Brussels talks, George Bush contacted Tony Blair in person to emphasize that the Islamic Republic of Iran had deceived the European countries and won the game. Extreme pressure from the United States at that juncture made Europe not to abide by the Brussels Agreement. Therefore, we also ended the suspension on part making and assembly activities in June 2004.
Mr. Ahmadinejad’s rhetoric on Paris negotiations
The former chief nuclear negotiator also reacted to the verbal attacks by the ninth government officials on the Paris negotiations by saying, “The Paris agreement made the Board of Governors stipulate in its subsequent resolution that suspension of some nuclear activities by Iran has been totally ‘voluntary’, ‘not of legal nature’ and ‘nonbinding’. Thereafter, the Board noted in its December 2004 resolution that Iran’s nuclear activities were peaceful and if there had been violations, Iran had taken compensatory steps. This was a great achievement which can be only understood by experts on technical and legal matters. According to the Paris agreement, Iran became a member of MNA despite open protests from George Bush and was recognized among countries mastering uranium enrichment technology. Also, according to the same agreement, the process of Iran’s accession to the World Trade Organization started after many years which could have been of major economic benefits for our country.”
Rouhani added, “According to the Paris agreement, we made suspension of nuclear activities conditional on progress in the negotiations and since no major grounds were broken in three months, we ended the suspension. I don’t know why they keep repeating that the ninth government was the one which ended the suspension. During 22 years of my management of the nuclear case, suspension was broken three times; that is, in summer 2004, in fall 2004 and in summer 2005. The main issue is that we knew how to manage the case logically and how to talk to reduce the cost of ending the suspension. They should explain now that Iran’s case has been sent to the United Nations Security Council due to their mismanagement and emotional stances and five resolutions have been adopted against the Islamic Republic of Iran, can it be considered a cause for pride. I tell Mr. Ahmadinejad assuming that your policy proves successful and the Security Council’s resolutions get nowhere, do you think that passing and declaring international inspections of ships and planes heading for Iran or economic sanctions a cause of pride? We turned binding suspension into nonbinding, but under his government, that nonbinding suspension was made binding through the Security Council resolutions. Is this a cause for pride?”
Rouhani said that Iran’s negotiations with the three European countries were reaching a conclusion in the summer of 2005 and the fact was admitted by the ninth government’s foreign minister in an interview with Japan's NHK network. But the final agreement was postponed until after the presidential election.
About closing down academic courses!
The former secretary of the Supreme National Security Council also responded to another accusation by Mr. Ahmadinejad who claims that European countries intended to close down all academic courses in the Iranian universities related to nuclear activities and even physics. He said, “Unfortunately, Mr. President sometimes utters such ridiculous remarks that there is no need to answer and all experts are aware of their falsity. This claim, which has been repeated by Mr. Ahmadinejad in many public meetings, is basically a lie. This claim and its subject are so ridiculous that even the United States did not pursue it. Meanwhile and just to the opposite of his claim, a plan was sent to and passed by the Islamic Consultative Assembly (Parliament) in May 2005 according to which the Ministry of Science, Research and Technology was obliged to strengthen academic courses related to nuclear science.”
Rouhani added, “Unfortunately, the only effort to prevent Iranian students from studying courses related to nuclear energy was made due to measures taken by this government and under Mr. Ahmadinejad. The United Nations Security Council Resolution 1737 (December 2006) has banned Iranian students from studying academic courses related to nuclear and missile projects in other countries and its 17th paragraph has required countries to prevent our students from studying those courses. Paragraph 24 of the same resolution has stipulated that even if Iran complied with the Security Council demands, some international sanctions will still continue including the ban on Iranian students from studying in academic courses related to nuclear and missile technologies. Unfortunately, instead of apologizing to the Iranian nation and admitting that mismanagement of the ninth government has deprived Iranian students from studying in many important courses, he has decided to attack the previous governments.
National celebration and biggest victory in past 100 years!
Asked about the national celebration held by the ninth government in response to a report by director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Rouhani said, “Unfortunately, the government has described that report as one of the biggest victories of the Iranian nation in the past 100 years. It was one of the worst and most dangerous reports by Mr. ElBaradei. By pointing to ‘alleged researches’ the report gave a military dimension to Iran’s nuclear activities for the first time and it was the most dangerous step that could have been taken on Iran’s nuclear case.”
Denying the role of past governments in achieving nuclear technology
Rouhani added that nuclear technology is not only the inalienable right of the Iranian nation, but also a cause of national pride.
“Great work has been done on this technology. I have witnesses every step of it since 1982 and I’m aware of all its aspects. The governments of Mirhossein Mousavi, Hashemi Rafsanjani and Mohammad Khatami did great and played an undeniable role in the victory of the Iranian nation. Of course, efforts were also made under Mr. Ahmadinejad and we don’t deny it. But officials of the ninth government attack those who have pulled off this project from scratch for a period of three decades and try to introduce themselves as savior of this technology and nuclear hero,” he said.
Dr. Hassan Rouhani, in another part of the interview, declared his readiness for a debate with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. He said, “A few days ago and when Mr. Ahmadinejad was unfairly attacking the past nuclear negotiations, I called on him to defend his allegations if he really could. We can have a debate in public. I do not want to absolutely defend my own performance or that of the previous nuclear negotiating team, because everybody knows that the nuclear technology belongs to the whole system and the Supreme Leader is truly in charge.”
The former chief nuclear negotiator also noted that at his time, there has been a committee in Supreme National Security Council whose members included himself as well as Dr. Velayati, Mr. Aqazadeh as head of Iran Atomic Energy Organization, Dr. Kharrazi as foreign minister, Mr. Younesi as minister of intelligence, Mr. Shamkhani as minister of defense as well as Dr. Ali Larijani and Mr. Hosseini Tash. “The members have not been chosen by me, but by top officials. The committee was assigned with rounding up specialized proposals and existing mechanisms and presenting a written report to the top officials for final approval. In addition to the committee, a meeting was also held at top levels to discuss important issues and policies related to the nuclear case. All major decisions on the nuclear case, including nuclear negotiations were passed by the committee and the proceedings are kept at the secretariat of the Supreme National Security Council.”
Rouhani added, “Unfortunately, Mr. Ahmadinejad’s rhetoric against the past nuclear negotiations amounts to questioning the whole system and no specific person or team is at stake. When the Supreme Leader has stipulated that he oversees all the nuclear activities and no violation or retreat has happened and at a time that the Supreme Leader has openly described nuclear negotiators as frontline soldiers, the question is “what goals are pursued by the president and what is his final objective when he ignores these facts?”
The former secretary of the Supreme National Security Council said, “I want to ask when a person at the position of Mr. Ahmadinejad casts doubt on the decisions made by the top officials under supervision of the Supreme Leader, will other managers be really able to work? Which diplomat will dare to face enemies of the system in international meetings? When important negotiations with three powerful European countries and many other effective countries are so ruthlessly attacked, how could we expect them to continue to trust the Islamic Republic of Iran? When such doubts are created in the minds of our people and we harm the national trust, how could we expect the people to trust the system’s decisions?”
Rouhani stated, “Of course, I called Mr. Ahmadinejad to a debate at that time, but I knew that neither the state-run television would allow it, nor Mr. Ahmadinejad would agree to it. Of course, the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting is legally bound to allow all organizations and persons who are slandered in its programs to have double time to defend them. I told Mr. Zarghami (head of the IRIB) that we should be given enough time to defend ourselves against Mr. President’s charges.”
He said, “All persons and institutions that have been incriminated by Mr. Ahmadinejad through television should send their response to the IRIB and it is legally obliged to air those responses and enlighten people about the facts. Otherwise, nothing would remain of the Islamic Revolution if the current trend continued.”
President of the Center for Strategic Research noted that Mr. Ahmadinejad was repeating that the ninth government has been slandered and that it is a punishable act.
“If state officials believe that slander is bad, they should be asked why they are doing that about other people round the clock. Can they tolerate the charges that they have leveled against the previous governments if they were against them? I don’t know what newspaper or news service has done all the slander of which the ninth government officials complain, but I know that if one of the sentences that Mr. Ahmadinejad has used against the nuclear policies of the past governments were published against himself, that newspaper would be certainly closed down,” he said.
Reason behind 9th government’s maneuvering on the nuclear case
The former secretary of the Supreme National Security Council also noted that Iran’s nuclear case was a complicated one and a reason behind Mr. Ahmadinejad’s constant maneuvering on this issue was that he knows it is a “forbidden area” where many people do not venture to answer government’s criticism lest they may find themselves in trouble.
Rouhani added, “The ninth government officials are therefore making the most of their powerful tribunes to maneuver on this issue while critics of the government do not have access to any one of those tribunes and are in no position to answer to unfair propaganda. I hope people would not be affected by that propaganda and media feel responsible to inform the people about the facts.”
Frequent attacks on past governments by Mr. Ahmadinejad and “disclosures”
Asked about the reason behind frequent attacks by Mr. Ahmadinejad on the previous governments and “disclosures” about them, member of the Expediency Council noted that some officials may think that the Iranian nation will be easily deceived by their theatrical shows and lies.
“I, however, believe that our people are not simpletons and although they may keep quiet, but their votes cannot be bought by waging psychological warfare and leveling heavy charges against the top officials. I also think that you cannot control the country by giving people potatoes and traveler’s checks. The ninth government has been in office for the past four years and should now explain about its achievements. Mr. Ahmadinejad should answer questions posed by the people and the elite instead of projecting his flaws,” he said.
Government should answer society’s main questions
President of the Center for Strategic Research pointed to an analytical report on the annual budget for 2007 and noted that the government should resolve the ambiguities that surround budgetary spending because those ambiguities have been put forth by the Supreme Audit Court which is a state-run body.
“Although the media did not pay due attention to the report, it says that in the Iranian year 1386 (2007-08), the government has sold 2.2 billion dollars worth of crude oil, but that money has not been given to the Central Bank of Iran. The government, without seeking the parliament's permission, has used that money to purchase oil products and those products have been sold inside the country, but the resultant revenues have not been credited to the Treasury account,” he said.
Rouhani emphasized that “2.2 billion dollars are at stake here not one or two rials.”
He added, “The report prepared by the Supreme Audit Court has noted that the fate of more than 9 billion cubic meters of natural gas is unclear. Although based on the Ministry of Petroleum’s report, we have earned more than 21 billion dollars by selling gas condensate in the past four years, that huge figure has not entered audit books and it is not clear how the government has spent it. Also in the same year (1386), about 800 billion dollars of the oil money has been spent elsewhere. The National Iranian Oil Company has also earned about 22 billion dollars. The government should be accountable and say where that money has been spent.”
Rouhani said, “People should know who abides by the law and who evades it. Who gives transparent information and who makes false information and boasts about what he has done.”
President of the Center for Strategic Research further noted, “They should explain what has happened to the oil money in the past four years and how much has been credited to the Oil Stabilization Fund. The Ministry of Petroleum has reported that an equivalent of about 270 billion dollars of oil has been sold in the past four years. The government has reported that non-oil exports have been worth about 57 billion dollars. Somebody should tell the nation what has happened to 330 billion dollars earned in the past four years. The ninth government should explain how many infrastructural projects have been implemented using that money.”
Rouhani emphasized that government reports should be based on facts not like what Mr. Ahmadinejad claims to have achieved with regard to petrochemical industry, Parsian gas refinery, as well as phases 9 and 10 of South Pars gas field, which turned out to be untrue.
In conclusion, president of the Center for Strategic Research said, “Attacking the past governments instead of convincing the elite and people by claiming to fight various kinds of mafia will do the ninth government no good. Despite what some people think, they cannot win votes in this way and the time for such propaganda is past. The ninth government should explain what it has achieved in the past four years and if they have not broken major grounds, at least, they should be bold enough to apologize to the people. People are not easily duped and demagoguery will no longer benefit the government.”
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