Speaking on Iran’s state IRIB TV (Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting) on May 27, in response to the interviewer’s challenge that, as Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator in 2003-5, “everything was suspended” on Iran’s nuclear program, Rouhani said this was “a lie” and proceeded to explain that Iran, in fact, had actually breached its international commitments. Rouhani said that Iran had systematically violated its commitments under the Iran-European Union October 2003 Tehran Declaration, which committed Iran to verifiably suspending its nuclear program. He said proudly, “We did not let that happen!”
Far from honoring the commitment, in which Iran said “it has decided voluntarily to suspend all uranium enrichment and reprocessing activities,” Rouhani told the interviewer that all Iran did was merely suspend “ten centrifuges” in its Natanz enrichment facility and that it was “not a total suspension. Just reduced the yield.” When challenged that enrichment had been suspended at its Isfahan plant, Rouhani repudiated this claim, too, saying that work had continued in Isfahan on his watch during 2004-5 as had also the development of the Iranian heavy water reactor at Arak. “Do you know when we developed yellowcake? Winter 2004 … Do you know when the number of centrifuges reached 3,000? Winter 2004 … We halted the nuclear program? We were the ones to complete it! We completed the technology” (‘Rouhani, on Iranian TV in May, detailed how he broke nuclear pledge,’ Times of Israel, October 6, 2013).
ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said, “As we already argued when Rouhani was elected in July, we cannot expect moderation or honesty from him on the nuclear front.
“Even if Rouhani really was a moderate who somehow managed to be approved to run in the presidential elections by the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khameni and the Guardian Council that actually hold the keys of power in Tehran, Iranian policy would still be in their hands, not Rouhani’s.
“But in any case, as he now plainly boasted with satisfaction, Rouhani was Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator at the time Iran was concealing from the world its clandestine nuclear weapons program and taking the essential steps –– not to develop a peaceful, civilian, nuclear energy program ––but a nuclear weapons program.
“As we have argued before, it is therefore imperative that there is not the slightest weakening of sanctions and other forms of international pressure on the Iranian regime. The only chance of stopping Iran’s nuclear weapons program by non-military means –– a slender chance at best –– is to increase, not decrease, pressure on Tehran.”
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