Change in U.S. approach would help resolve problems with Iran: Rafsanjani

February 21, 2009 - 0:0

TEHRAN – Iranian Expediency Council Chairman Hashemi Rafsanjani stated that resolving the problems between Iran and the U.S. requires a change in the U.S. foreign policy.

“We have showed our goodwill to resolve the problems between us. If the Barack Obama administration is willing to negotiate with Iran and change its approach, as it has announced before, we welcome it,” he told Aljazeera TV.
Rafsanjani added, “We are not keen on eternal enmity with the United States.”
On the probability of establishing ties between Iran and the U.S., he said, “Based on our national interests and Islamic line of thought, we wend our own way and these are the Americans who have problem with us.”
“The Islamic Republic of Iran had no intention to cut its ties with the United States and it was the United States who broke off the relations.”
Asked about the capture of the U.S. embassy in Iran by Iranian students in the early years of the Islamic Revolution, Rafsanjani said, “Some information was received which showed that the Washington embassy in Tehran was leading anti-revolutionaries. This information indicated that the Americans were doing spy work. Thus, the students captured this embassy.”
Rafsanjani rejected claims that Iran was forced to release the hostages.
“We had no problem from outside and there were no relations between the United States and us. We resolved the issue …only based on our national interests.”
He also denied charges that Iran tried to influence the U.S. elections when it released hostages, noting, “Our look towards the Democrats and Republicans has been the same.”
--------- Nuclear weapons against Islamic line of thought
The Expediency Council chairman denied any deviation in Iran’s civilian nuclear activities and emphasized that developing nuclear weapons is against the Islamic line of thought.
“Nuclear weapon is not in keeping with our religious beliefs. We oppose any use of weapons of mass destruction.”
“We have reiterated that we have no plans to build nuclear weapons,” he emphasized.
The International Atomic Energy Agency has repeatedly confirmed non-diversion of Iran’s nuclear activities. However, some major powers, the U.S. in particular, have turned a blind eye to such reports and continue their unsubstantiated claims against Iran. Under such pressures, the UN Security Council has imposed three rounds of sanctions on Iran.
“We have always announced our readiness to hold negotiations with anyone and anywhere. Signing the NPT (Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty) by the Islamic Republic of Iran shows Iran’s goodwill in pursuing its nuclear programs,” he observed.
Rafsanjani insisted that Iran has proved its fidelity to principles of humanity.
“Although Saddam (Hussein) used chemical weapons in the imposed war against the Islamic Republic, the Islamic Republic did not make use of them despite its capability to utilize such weapons.”