26. Oktober 2004, Transkript
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MR AFESI CALLED THE EUROPEAN PROPOSAL „UNBALANCED“. WOULD YOU USE THE SAME EXPRESSION?
Yes, we believe, we should have mutual commitments, mutual objective assurances, mutual confidence building measures. Everything in the package should be mutual. That is the meaning of the balanced situation we are looking for. This should not be one sided.
WHAT IS MISSING ON THE EUROPEAN SIDE?
European side, they have no clear commitments, time table about the package of cooperation. Just some words, nice words, like we have in Tehran statement, nice words about economical cooperation, security cooperation in the region, but they don’t mean nothing.
SO, A CLEAR COMMITMENT WHAT WHEN. IS THAT WHAT YOU ARE ASKING FOR?
Exactly. We are prepared for a package, which is balanced in mutual commitments, mutual confidence building measures, mutual objective assurances with a clear timetable to realize every part of commitments.
BUT YOU SEEMED SATISFIED WITH WHAT IS IN THE PACKAGE.
Some parts we are not satisfied, but generally we believe this package is not bad for negotiation. We can negotiate. The package basically is coming from our package which we presented in July in Paris to EU-3. They have had some changes in their package, but it is possible to negotiate and agree and compromise.
LIGHT WATER REACTOR. IS THIS ATTRACTIVE FOR YOU?
I think, the most important issue other than what I told you is respecting the right of Iran in the framework of NPT, safeguard and protocol, not less, not more.
IF I CAN GET BACK TO THE LIGHT WATER REACTOR. IS THIS SOMETHING YOU ARE WILLING TO NEGOTIATE ABOUT?
We are prepared to negotiate, but if they want to sit and discuss with us about light water for ten years, this will not work. We should have everything clear, what we should do, Iranians, and what they would do reciprocally in what period of time. This means, they are serious to deal. They mean the package. But if they want to leave their commitments open and our commitments with timetable, it means they are not serious.
WHAT IS IRAN BRINGING TO THE NEGOTIATIONS?
Any kind of confidence building measures, assurances, objective assurances, economic cooperation, security issues, bilaterally, regionally, internationally. Any assurances about no-diversion of Uranium activities. We are completely open. Any assurances that Iran would never go after mass destruction weapons, cooperation together for elimination of whole Middle East of mass destruction weapon, commitments of Iran to NPT, commitments of Iran so safeguard, commitments of Iran to protocol, commitments of Iran to full cooperation and full access for IAEA, commitment of Iran for transparency. Everything. We don’t close the door.
BUT WHERE IS IRAN’S OFFER?
IS ENRICHMENT SOMETHING YOU ARE WILLING TO NEGOTIATE?
SUSPENSION EVEN OVER A LONGER PERIOD OF TIME, IS THIS A POSSIBILITY?
BUT WHAT ABOUT SUSPENSION?
Suspension, we are flexible for continuation of suspension, but we should know what we are looking for. Are we looking for cessation, I mean, suspension for cessation, there is no chance. Suspension for confidence building measures, yes. Objective assurances that Iranian enrichment activities would never be diverted, yes. Objective assurances about commitment of Iran to NPT, safeguard and protocol, yes. Objective assurances for full access and cooperation with IAEA, yes.
WHAT IS WRONG WITH THE PROPOSAL THAT THE FUEL FOR YOUR CIVILIAN PROGRAM WILL BE DELIEVERED FROM THE OUTSIDE AND WILL BE GUARANTEED?
SO, WHY DO YOU INSIST TO PRODUCE FOR OWN AND GET THE FUEL FOR THE OTHERS FROM OUTSIDE? THIS JUST FUELS THE SUSPICION.
First of all, we made the investments.
MAYBE IT WAS NOT WORTHWHILE …
It is not important. It was not wrong. It is in the framework of NPT.
I MEAN WRONG AS A POLITICAL DECISION.
No, no. Iran is a member of NPT and can enjoy all rights. Iran is the only country in the region as a member of all mass destruction weapon conventions. Because of this commitment we are serious to enjoy all rights, nuclear, chemical, biological conventions in the framework of the conventions. The peaceful right. Therefore, if they are worried that tomorrow will have fuel to put on a missile, this is completely baseless, because this site needs minimum five years to provide even the fuel for one power plant. Facilities in Esphahan, hundreds of millions of dollars in investment. Facilities in Natanz for enrichment, hundreds of millions of dollars, yellowcake process, related activities, production of spare parts of centrifuges, hundreds of millions of dollars of investment. Now after ten years of such investments which is all legal and legitimate in the framework of NPT they tell us, cease it, throw it away, lay off thousands of Iranians, because we trust you ..
I UNDERSTAND YOUR POINT OF VIEW, BUT THERE IS A POLITICAL PRICE TO IT AS WELL. THE OUTSIDE WORLD IS DISTRUSTING YOU. YOU MAY PAY A MUCH HIGHER POLITICAL PRICE.
If they suppose to cooperate with us on the basis of conventions about mass destruction weapons, our hand is open. If they are supposed to discriminate Iran, to deprive Iran and to tell us, you are supposed to accept all limitations of mass destructions weapons conventions, and to forget all rights of peaceful technology, because we don’t trust you, this is the end of the game.
WOULDN’T IT BE GOOD ENOUGH, IF THE EUROPEANS SAY, OF COURSE YOU HAVE THE RIGHT. THAT IS NOT WHAT THE DEBATE IS ALL ABOUT. THE ISSUE IS CONFIDENCE BUILDING…
Confidence building is the issue of suspension. We are open for suspension, if the suspension is for confidence building, and we are open, I told you, for any other confidence building measures, and assurances that Iranian nuclear activities forever will be peaceful. Here there is no red line, there is no hesitation, completely flexibility from Iranian side, but they should respect Iranian right.
JUST TO CLARIFY THIS: YOU SAY IN ORDER TO REACH COMPLETE TRANSPARENCY YOU ARE WILLING TO NEGIOATE NEW AGREEMENTS THAT GO BEYOND THE EXISTING ONES?
No. NPT, safeguard and protocol is clear. We are prepared for full implementation for safeguard and protocol. What we are saying, if there is concern about possible diversion of enrichment side in the future, we are open for a dialogue, for a mechanism worked out by IAEA, because they are responsible, for full assurances for no diversion in the future. This is open.
IS THIS IN ADDITION TO THE EXISTING AGREEMENTS?
This can be. We would not reject, because we are not after an atomic bomb. Because we are not after an atomic bomb, we would not have any hesitation for intensive inspections, intensive control, limitations for the level of enrichment, which is 3,5. Here we have no problem.
THERE IS THE SUSPICION THAT IRAN IS VERY GLAD THAT TALKS NOW STARTED BECAUSE IRAN LIKES TO TALK JUST TO BUY TIME. WHAT IS YOUR RESPONSE TO THAT?
Europeans they have bought time for one year. They have done nothing. We signed the protocol, we implemented the protocol, we gave full report about last and present activities of nuclear program of Iran, we delivered the declarations, we gave full access to IAEA, 800 person/days, more that 800 person/days inspection in less than one year to IAEA, this is unique in the history of IAEA. We gave them 17 complementary accesses, we opened all military sites and even they have not done the first commitment which was to resolve the file within the IAEA. They failed even to imply and implement their first commitment. They bought the time, and we did our commitments.
WELL, EXCEPT ONE: SUSPEND THE ENRICHMENT.
Suspend, the definition of IAEA for suspension about Tehran statement wordings fully up to now is done. 100 per cent. We have the definition of IAEA. We have Tehran statement. The key element also has been no introduction of gas to centrifuges. This is the key element of suspension. Still it is suspended. I mean, from the Tehran statement one year is passed. One year of suspension is a good sign of good-will. While during this year we have done our confidence building measures like implementation of protocol, opening the door of nuclear sites, military sites, complementary accesses, we have done all confidence building measures, they want more continuation of suspension? We are flexible, but we should be assured.
THE BOARD OF GOVERNORS IN VIENNA SEEMS TO HAVE A DIFFERENT IDEA WHAT SUSPENSION MEANS, BECAUSE THEIR LAST RESOLUTION CRITICISED IRAN FOR NOT SUSPENDING.
The IAEA definition has different parts. The first part is about the interpretation of the Tehran statement, which up to now definitely, 100 per cent, this has been sustained. The second of the definition is the interpretation of resolution wording which has related activities, more than Tehran statement. Related activities, we agreed with EU-3 in Brussels in February that we go back to the second part of suspension in order to comply with the request of the resolution fully by the definition of IAEA to stop assembly of centrifuges, to stop production of spare parts and they promised to close the file in June. They didn’t.
OKAY. BUT NOW YOU HAVE A RESOLUTION ON THE TABLE THAT SAYS ...
We are open. We are open to meet the resolution for the suspension. Here we are flexible. I mean, I told you, for confidence building measures we are flexible, but we should be assured, the rights are recognized, there is no intention for discrimination, every arrangement in the package is mutual and reciprocal with a timetable.
BUT YOU HAVE A PROBLEM WITH THE DEADLINE OF 25th NOVEMBER. IF YOU DON’T DO SOMETHING, YOU DON’T ANNOUNCE SUPENDING, YOU MIGHT RUN INTO PROBLEMS.
SO, YOU ARE NOT AFRAID?
No. Not only not afraid, the country is prepared. They have received, all ministries, organisations, two, three months ago different instructions about Security Council situation.
TELL ME ABOUT IT.
That’s it. The country should be prepared. They have made themselves prepared. Let’s go to the Security Council, let’s go to confrontation, then we will see, who will loose more. They have our good-will, commitment to NPT, mass destruction weapons, openness to IAEA, transparent cooperation, confidence building measures, objective security assurances. Everything they have, all card blanche, but in the framework of NPT, safeguard, protocol, not beyond. If they are going to impose beyond international conventions, and discrimination against Iran, Iran would choose security council.
REGARDING THE 25TH NOVEMBER YOU ARE NOT TRYING TO CHANGE YOUR BEHAVIOUR ..
We are not afraid.
.. YOU ARE HOPING NOW PROGRESS WOILL ACHIEVED THROUGH THE EUROPEANS. IS THIS YOUR STRATEGY?
Three months ago we decided, because we reached a conclusion that EU-3 they are too weak to deliver their commitments, and Americans they will take it to the Security Council. Therefore we decided for Security Council. The decision already is there. But we did not close the door for EU-3. We would continue discussion and dialogue. We would be completely open, flexible logic. Everything up to end in the framework of conventions. Beyond conventions, discrimination .. let’s go to the Security Council.
WHEN YOU TALK ABOUT DISCRIMINATION? WHO ELSE BESIDE IRAN SHOULD GET THE SAME TREATMENT?
Every member of NPT. If there is a decisions it should be about every member.
BUT THAT IS NOT REALISTIC.
It is also unrealistic to come to tell a member which is signatory to NPT, forget all your rights.
RAMAZANZADEH SAID YESTERDAY IN HIS PRESS CONFERENCE, WE IRANIANS UNDERSTAND THAT THE WORLD IS CONCERNED ABOUT US.
I, too. I told you the same. We recognize the concern and we are prepared for any mechanism for objective assurances about enrichment program of Iran that never would be diverted and forever would be peaceful.
WHAT I AM TRYING TO GET AT: YOU CAN NOT SAY WE UNDERSTAND THAT THERE IS SPECIAL CONCERN ABOUT IRAN AND ON THE OTHER HAND, EVERYBODY HAS TO GET THE SAME TREATMENT. THAT IS A CONTRADICTION.
No. If they have about past activities, okay. We cooperated. Now they no. There is no one bomb, there is no diversion. They are talking about the future. Any time in the future, Iran can decide and divert it. Future about every country is the same. Japan tomorrow, in 10 years can decide and divert. Germany can decide and divert. Brazil can decide and divert. Nobody can predict the future. They are talking about the future, and if today they deprive Iran from the rights ion nuclear technology, tomorrow they can raise the same question about chemical convention. They can say, thank you very much, we have signed what chemical convention, thank you very much, you have implemented, thank you very much we have ratified, we are very satisfied, but because this part and that part of chemical technology is very sensitive, and you may divert to chemical bomb, please put it away and we ask you for cessation. And the day after tomorrow they go to biological technology and convention. They can say this part of biological technology is very sensitive and you may divert it and you may make a bomb in the future. This is open for every convention of mass destruction weapons, chemical nuclear, biological and every, and Iran would never be a signatory to conventions which is deprived of the rights of peaceful technology in the framework of peaceful technology. This is the red line.
EVERYBODY IS SAYING THE REAL ADVISARIES ON THIS ISSUE ARE IRAN AND THE US. WOULDN’T IT MUCH MORE SENSE IF THE TWO OF YOU SIT TOGETHER AND TALK?
At the moment, no, but we have also understand, It told you, the Europeans cannot deliver their commitments because of American pressure. This is clear. They have understood themselves also. Therefore it is better for them not to make commitments, because they cannot deliver. We don’t need to make commitments to anybody. We need only make commitment to IAEA, but maybe Americans they are looking for a situation to take it to the Security Council, to go to confrontation in order to prepare a situation to sit with Iran and to solve comprehensively all other issues and to put the Europeans to the corner.
IF THE PHONE RINGS AND IT IS THE PRESIDENT IN WASHINGTON. HE SAYS, LETS TALK. WHAT IS YOUR RESPONSE?
We are not going to reject, but we have 25 years of history of hostility. For example, about hostages in Lebanon, you remember, in decade 80. President of the United States took the phone to 40 countries and gave the message to take it to Iranian president, if you show good-will, we reciprocate good-will. We trusted. We influenced, we assisted. All western hostages including American hostages, they were freed. Immediately they started to strengthening sanctions against Iran. This is the history of behaviour of Americans. First of all, we should look forward to a situation that can decrease the tension. They should show that they really mean it. They should take some steps to buy Iranian confidence, to create the situation, because anytime during last two decades they have promised, they have proposed, we have gone to the request and immediately they have gone to contradictory direction.
WELL, YOU CAN TALK ABOUT IT.
No, they know. They know we have different channels. They know completely the views. They have held Iranian assets for 25 years illegally. They can free it.
WOULDN’T IT BE A VERY IMPORTANT POLITICAL SIGN IF IRAN WOULD SAY, WE ARE WILLING TO TALK ABOUT THE NUCLEAR ISSUES WITH THE AMERICANS.
We have had some talks in Afghanistan process. You remember. There was a meeting. Iran and America and one or two countries. We discussed the Afghanistan crisis and the world recognises and recognized the Iranian cooperation in Afghanistan process. Without Iranian cooperation they could never get successful in Afghanistan, and what they did after it, they received all cooperation and good-wills and all discussions in the meetings. They went to Afghanistan and put pressure that Iran should have no share and influence in the country.
This has been the same for Iraq. Iran policy in Iraq has been constructive. Everybody knows.
BUT YOU ARE STILL NOT WILLING TO CROSS THE LINE AND SAY; WE ARE WILLING TO TALK.
Not yet, because we don’t trust them.
IS ISREAL BLUFFING? THEY ARE LEAKING OUT THE INFORMATION THAT THEY ARE PLANNING A MILITARY ACTION TO DESTRUCT YOUR NUCLEAR PROGRAM. ARE THEY BLUFFING OR DOYOU TAKE THAT SERIOUS?
We have never taken that serious. They are bluffing. But anyhow. I told you. Iran from two three months ago has decided to mobilize the country for the situation the case is in the Security Council. It has some decision in military, implication in security. We have predicted, maybe we get attacked by the Americans, any crazy country. We have our program to respond.
ONE PART OF THE PROGRAM IS SHAHAB-3
This is one. So what, if anyone attacks, we would defend. Shahab-3 is just to defend, you know, this is not offensive, it is defensive. Of course, we would defend.
WHAT MAKES YOU SO SURE THAT THE ISRAELIS ARE BLUFFING?
Because they know that the cannot play with the fire. They cannot put benzine, oil into the fire. Maybe this would fire the whole, their own situation.
WOULD YOU REACT BY SUPPORTING MORE …
… We would react comprehensively. This would not be only a one-dimensionally
reaction. They should then buy every reaction from Iranian side.
© Martin Ebbing 2004