Reading through the transcript of this week’s ABC interview with Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif raises many questions regarding his sincerity (as well as that of his bosses, Khamenei and Rouhani).
On Nuclear Transparency
When asked about any open issues between Iran and the IAEA, he made it sound as if Tehran’s nuclear program was totally transparent and had received the IAEA’s seal of approval.
ZARIF: And the IAEA said that although Iran had not declared these activities, now that we see those activities, none of them had been diverted to military use. So there is no question that Iran never had military intentions.
FACT: The September 2011 IAEA report shows that the “the Agency is increasingly concerned about the possible existence in Iran of past or current undisclosed nuclear related activities involving military related organizations, including activities related to the development of a nuclear payload for a missile.”
Add to that further non-transparency activities such as the clean-up in the Parchin military base. “No question that Iran ever had military intentions”? Depends on who’s talking.
To refresh his memory, Mr. Zarif should take some time to read David Albright and Christina Walrond’s ISIS report, “An Appeal to Iran“.
On the Nuclear Fatwa
ZARIF: Our leader has a religious verdict that the use of nuclear weapons, even possession of nuclear weapons, is contrary to religious doctrine.
The first problem is that this particular fatwa, unlike thousands of others, was never publicly presented by Khamenei – let alone shown or approved by the government and parliament in Tehran.
The second problem is the actual nature of all fatwas: they can be rescinded by Khamenei at any time by simply saying so – that’s the by-law of this law. Or as Rouhani stated in his own thesis: “No laws in Islam are immutable ”
On Enriching Uranium
ZARIF: … We have not been able to get a single gram of uranium from them for the past 30-some years.
It sounds so simple. Nobody’s selling Tehran 20% enriched uranium, so Tehran fulfills its rights to enrich its own uranium.
Zarif must not be aware of the international community’s repeated offers to supply Iran with uranium all the way back in 2009. Tehran, to date, has refused to take advantage of this offer which would definitely reduce suspicions.
On the “Myth of the Holocaust”
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: Is the Holocaust a myth?
ZARIF: No, the Holocaust is not a myth. Nobody is talking about the myth. It’s a — if it’s said, I haven’t seen it.
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: Says it right there.
ZARIF: If it’s said, it’s a bad translation, and it is translated out of context that they have — they are using it. He was talking about the reaction to somebody talking about the historical incident and requiring research about that historical incident and said, what is it that people are upset that somebody is simply asking that we should do some studies of that? …
Better to listen to Khamenei’s exact words.
“Western countries allow no freedom of expression, which they claim to advocate, with regard to the myth of the massacre of Jews known as the holocaust, and nobody in the West enjoys the freedom of expression to deny it or raise doubts about it.”
Mr. Zarif – with all due respect to your position and in regards to the regime in Tehran, Khamenei’s word is law…yours still isn’t.
Bottom line: Rouhani has changed the overall tone of voice, and he should be welcomed for doing so. Too bad the old lyrics still ring true.