Iran’s Unrelenting and Blatant Nuclear Mendacity

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The Iranian Opposition Exposes The Regime’s Duplicity

Can We Trust the Smiling Rouhani over Iran’s nuclear intentions?

In an article in the Guardian on 15th October 2013, John R. Bolton, the former US Ambassador to the UN said:

“We cannot verify and must not trust Iran’s promises on nuclear weapons. Ignore the ‘moderate’ smokescreen. Sanctions have failed, so our choice is stark: use military force or let Tehran get the bomb.”

Iran’s State-run Fars news agency, revealed on the 3rd May 2014 that on the eve of arrival of UN nuclear inspectors in Tehran, the Iranian regime’s Atomic Energy Organization said that it was denying the international inspectors access to Parchin nuclear facility.

smiling rouhani
The Smiling Rouhani

The Iranian regime’s Atomic Energy Organization spokesman, Behrouz Kamalvandi, stated that “legally, they have no right to visit Parchin since we are not implementing the Additional Protocol (to the NPT) and even if we did, access needs to be managed.”

He once again underlined that the regime has no intention to scale back its nuclear program, and reiterated that activities at “our nuclear facilities will not be suspended.”

According to opposition sources; during the past three years, the IAEA inspectors have frequently requested to visit a certain section of Parchin to study the unknown aspects of the regime’s nuclear weapons program, but the clerical regime has prevented such a visit to Parchin. During this period, the Iranian regime has been busy carrying out major changes in sections of Parchin to erase any trace and evidence of nuclear tests.

Statements by the Atomic Energy Organization spokesman demonstrate that contrary to all the claims made in recent months, in continuation of its policy to obtain the nuclear weapon, the clerical regime continues to deceive the international community and it has no intention whatsoever to be transparent in its nuclear program.

In recent years, the clerical regime has hidden parts of its nuclear weapons project in conventional military sites and has prevented IAEA access to these sites on the pretext that inspection of military sites is not within the scope of IAEA mandate.

The Iranian Opposition once again underscores that the implementation of the Additional Protocol by the mullahs’ regime and unhindered and unconditional access of IAEA to all of regime’s nuclear sites and specialists is an essential and indispensable step to ensure that mullahs do not obtain a nuclear bomb.

The world’s leading powers have long suspected that Iran is developing the capability to build an atom bomb, an allegation that Tehran has repeatedly denied.

A Game of Deception

Barely hours after the signing of an interim agreement in Geneva (24th November 2013) to temporarily freeze Iran’s nuclear enrichment programme, Iranian President Rouhani said the interim deal recognised Iran’s nuclear “rights.” The BBC reported that Iran has agreed to curb some of its nuclear activities in return for about $7bn ( Pounds 4.3bn) in sanctions relief, after days of intense talks in Geneva.

US President Barack Obama welcomed the deal, saying it included “substantial limitations which will help prevent Iran from building a nuclear weapon.” Iran agreed to give better access to inspectors and halt some of its work on uranium enrichment.

The Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi told reporters in Geneva immediately after the signing of the agreement “that in the past 10 years, Iran has resisted economic and political pressures and sanctions aimed at abandoning its enrichment activities.” “Therefore he said any agreement without recognizing Iran’s right to enrich, practically and verbally, will be unacceptable for Tehran.”

Who Are We Supposed To Believe?

However a day before agreement was reached, President Rouhani told Iran’s Parliament that Iran had told its negotiating partners, “We will not answer to any threat, sanction, humiliation or discrimination.” According to Al Arabiya News; Iran said just 24 hours before agreement was reached that it cannot accept any agreement with six major powers that does not recognize what it described as its right to enrich uranium, a demand the United States and its European allies have repeatedly rejected.”

In March 2014, Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani insisted that Iran would not abandon its enrichment of uranium, after US senators called for it to be denied any such right under a long-term nuclear deal.

“The world has admitted that Iran is, and will be, among the countries which have nuclear technology, including enrichment, and there is no doubt about this for anyone,” state media quoted Rouhani as telling a cabinet meeting.

Interestingly Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on 9th April 2014 that Iran has backed talks with world powers but warned Tehran will never give up its nuclear programme. He said Iran had agreed to the talks to “break the hostile atmosphere” with the international community.

Most recently Iran’s nuclear energy chief said that the Islamic Republic was entitled to enrich uranium to the weapons-grade level of 90%, and announced that Tehran was planning to construct four new nuclear plants with the help of Russia, (as reported in the media 20th April 2014). This contradicts what Ali Akbar Salehi, the head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) who is saying to the world: “Iran had agreed to limit its enrichment activities to the 5% level, under the terms of an interim deal in November last year with the six powers under which it curbed some uranium enrichment activities.” He also said Iran is planning to build four new nuclear power plants in the coming years to accompany Iran’s sole nuclear power plant Bushehr.

President Hassan Rouhani latest announcement on 11th May 14 “Iran will not retreat one step in the field of nuclear technology … we will not accept nuclear apartheid,” he said

Which Iranian Statements We Are We Supposed To Believe?

Meanwhile John Kerry the US Secretary of State told a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing in April: Iran can produce fissile material for an atomic weapon in two months. Then corrected himself suggesting 6-12 months.

At any rate talks between Iran and the United States and five other world powers continue in Vienna on and off to reach a broad settlement over its disputed nuclear programme.

But the flood of belligerent and arrogant statements coming out of Tehran call into question the sincerity of Iran to abide by any agreement.

Regional Apprehension

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu harshly condemned the international community’s historic nuclear deal with Iran on Sunday 24th November 2013 while Saudi Arabia remained conspicuously quiet, reflecting the jitters felt throughout the Middle East over Iran’s acceptance on the global stage.

Meanwhile the Arab States in the Gulf region are wary of Iran’s real intentions. Iran has always denied that it is pursuing a nuclear weapon programme. In Saudi Arabia the perception is that the Iranian nuclear programme is designed to threaten Saudi Arabia and its allies in the Gulf. In the wider Middle East, Iran is not trusted. Most observers believe a temporary agreement will be flouted as soon as the six-month freeze is over. Iran will resume its enrichment programme without facing severe penalties. Most Arabs believe a stronger Iran would be better able to keep the butcher of Syria Bashar al Assad in power and also threaten its Sunni adversaries such as Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

Iran Is Adept At Cat And Mouse Games

In 2006 the Iranian leadership announced the successful enrichment of uranium. The UN Security Council passed several resolutions on Iran insisting that it ends its enrichment activities. Iran responded by rejecting any international pressure and threats after the International Atomic Energy Agency decided to put the issue of Iran’s nuclear program before the UN Security Council. The then Iranian President Ahmadinejad stated that his people will not yield to threats from Western States and that Iran will continue with its nuclear research program.

In November 2011 the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) published a new report revealing advanced Iranian design for a nuclear warhead developed with the help of former Soviet scientists, according to nuclear experts.

In response to the report Iran threatened to close the Strait of Hormuz, a vital route for the oil trade, if the West widened sanctions against the country amid an ongoing row over Tehran’s nuclear programme.

The Strait of Hormuz links the Gulf oil-producing states of Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates with the Indian Ocean.

The US maintains a naval presence in the Gulf, primarily to ensure the oil routes remain open.

Does the world trust Iran to honour its obligations? Would appeasing Iran work in easing tensions in the region? The belligerent and often conflicting statements coming out of Tehran are not reassuring.

Many experts are not fooled by the charm offensive; everybody in the Middle East knows that Iran is seeking nuclear weapons. Rouhani can smile and say nice things, but his nuclear objective remains unchanged.

Nehad Ismail is a writer and broadcaster, who writes about issues related to the Middle East from his home in London.