Rohani responds to Ahmadinejad’s nuclear grandstanding

June 6, 2009

TEHRAN -- Expediency Council Strategic Research Center Director Hassan Rohani has responded to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s criticism of Iran’s nuclear negotiations of 2003.

At a meeting with a number of journalists in Tehran on Friday, Rohani elaborated on the previous administration’s nuclear negotiations with the EU-3 in 2003 when he served as the country’s chief nuclear negotiator.
Ahmadinejad has criticized the nuclear policies of former president Mohammad Khatami’s administration, calling the outcome of the negotiations with Germany, France, and Britain “disgraceful”.
Rohani pointed out that before Iran agreed to temporarily suspend uranium enrichment in 2003, the International Atomic Energy Agency Board of Governors had issued a resolution calling on Iran to suspend enrichment and set a fifty-day deadline.
“We should not forget that the resolution was passed at a time when the United States had occupied Afghanistan and Iraq, and U.S. senators, with arrogance and jubilation… were emphasizing that Iran’s turn had come,” he added.
And at the same time, in a letter to Iran, the foreign ministers of the three European Union powers demanded that Iran freeze its uranium enrichment activities, he said.
Iran received a similar letter from the Russian foreign minister one day later, Rohani added.
“In a situation where the United States and Israel were seeking to get Iran’s (nuclear) dossier forwarded to the UN Security Council… the Zionist lobby had started the Iran war countdown, and some sort of international consensus had emerged against the Islamic Republic, the system decided to break the international consensus and isolate Israel and the U.S.,” he said.
In November 2004, IAEA Director General Mohamed ElBaradei officially declared that Iran had not diverted its nuclear activities toward nuclear weapons production and that Tehran’s nuclear program was peaceful, he pointed out.
Rohani also said the nuclear negotiators of the previous administration proved that the nature of Iran’s nuclear program is peaceful and prevented the imposition of UN sanctions, and soon afterwards the U.S. secretary of state admitted that the United States had become isolated.
Rohani asked Ahmadinejad to straightforwardly say whether he believes Iran made the right decision or not.
He went on to say that despite all the lies about those negotiations, Iran did not suspend its nuclear activities at Isfahan, Arak, Natanz, or other facilities during the 22 months he was the point man in nuclear negotiations with the European powers.
“Our general policy was to suspend each area for some time after its completion so that we could complete other unfinished phases,” he added