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ABC Radio Networks

With John Batchelor


February 16, 2005


JOHN BATCHELOR: John Batchelor, ABC Radio: Alireza Jafarzadeh is very carefully watching the IAEA. Why is he watching? Because the IAEA is responsible for solving the puzzle of the secret nuclear weapons program in Iran. It has not. It goes up to the edge and pears over and says, well as a matter of fact we have a statement yesterday from Mohamed ElBaradei, the leader of the IAEA, the nuclear watch dog, about the secret nuclear weapons program in Iran. Alireza, Good evening to you.




JOHN BATCHELOR: Mohamed ElBaradei yesterday commented upon his work inspecting Iran. I know inspecting Iran for many of these secret installations that you and your people have developed. What did he say and what is he talking about?


ALIREZA JAFARZADEH: Well, according to the Washington post article today the article basically says that the investigation within the past six months has not really offered anything new about Iranís nuclear program and they basically havenít found the smoking gun to suggest that Iran is actually doing anything wrong. Also he says the uranium enrichment process has now stopped and this is a good thing and so he says particularly that in terms of intelligence and inspections there have been no developments in the past six months


JOHN BATCHELOR: Now thereís, ElBaradei said that within 24 hours. Please explain to me then how it is that you and others like you have put up information over the last six months that points to satellite pictures showing the nuclear weapons activity on the ground and that the sites youíve pointed to have not been inspected by ElBaradeiís inspectors. How does that work?


ALIREZA JAFARZADEH: Well here is the situation. Within the past six months there have been a number of new revelations by the same source that actually revealed the previous information which is the main Iranian opposition, the National Council of Resistance of Iran.


JOHN BATCHELOR: National Council of Resistance of Iran. The information about the secret nuclear weapons programs of Iran for years have been extremely accurate.


ALIREZA JAFARZADEH: Exactly. This is the organization which is obviously the main Iranian opposition, by using their network inside Iran, they revealed all of the major nuclear sites of Iran. In August of 2002 they revealed the site in Natanz where uranium enrichment is going on. They then revealed the site in Arak where they do; they have a heavy water facility there. They revealed a number of other sites including Ab-Ali, Tehran where they were actually testing centrifuge machines and the places where they were actually building centrifuge machines. Now IAEA inspectors are visiting the sites since 2003 that were actually revealed by the National Council of Resistance. None of them were actually declared by Iran itself. Now this very same organization, within the past six months, has come up with a number of other new revelations. Number 1, they said in November that there is a new site near Tehran called Lavizan II.


JOHN BATCHELOR: Thatís the one you provided to global


ALIREZA JAFARZADEH: Exactly, the organization was able to give the exact detail information of where it is located and then was able to get the satellite images of this site, itís an extensive facility, a military facility and the National Council of Resistance said that at this site, laser enrichment is going on. Now to the best of my knowledge, as we speak, up until today the IAEA has not even requested to inspect the site in Lavizan.


JOHN BATCHELOR: Now, Alireza I want to stop you because, weíll continue, this is information thatís very important to understand, everybody to understand, why are we talking all the time about Iranís secret nuclear weapons program. A program that President Bush and other leaders of the west have said cannot continue, cannot go forward, itís unacceptable. That is because the IAEA is all we have. Itís the only world body that has the authority to go into Iran to inspect these sites. That means that ElBaradei statement in the Washington Post within twenty four hours is cognitive dissonance, thatís what the Wall Street Journal used to call it. We see one thing on, Lavizan II where there is information that there is laser enrichment and yet ElBaradei comes out and gives to the world media, which is translated into Arabic, into Farsi into French that weíve got nothing new to show you, because they havenít looked. Correct Alireza? They havenít been there.


ALIREZA JAFARZADEH: They havenít been there and I am surprised with the statement that says that uranium enrichment has now stopped whereas they havenít actually gone to this place where the main source of information has actually said as lately as November that Iran is actually doing laser enrichment there.

There was another site known as Parchin that again the Iranian opposition has said the laser enrichment is going on there and the IAEA has not been able to go inside the building and take samples there and then this year in early February, the same NCRI, the National Council of Resistance, put out new information saying that Iran is actually developing neutron initiators which is like triggers for a nuclear bomb. Itís one of the three main components of a bomb you need to have the fissile material, and then you need the delivery system and you need to have the triggers to actually make the bomb explode. There is a program going on that the opposition says that Iran is doing experiments with polonium 210 and beryllium and these two substances when they are used in conjunction with one another, they can produce triggers and this has not been addressed, this has not been investigated. They even said where this experiment is going on and that site has not been inspected and has not even been even requested for inspection. So I would not give a clean bill of health to the Iranian regimeís nuclear weapons program.


JOHN BATCHELOR: But thatís what ElBaradei did. But thatís what his statement does. It gives the opening for negotiations between those that say you have a nuclear weapons program and those that say Iím not sure that they do. He gives a blessing to it and yet he can not demonstrate that he has followed through on information he has or do we think that he is ignorant of this.


ALIREZA JAFARZADEH: Well I think there are two things, first of all the IAEA reports, there have been six or seven of them since 2003, even the reports themselves have lots of details in it, show lots of contradictions, lots of violations of Iranís commitments, ways that Iran has tried to deceive the IAEA.They found lots of contradictions with what Iran originally said and what they found on the ground but when it comes to putting all of this information together and trying to figure out this elephant in the room, I think thatís where you lack that. Perhaps maybe this is because this is the way the whole International Atomic Energy Agency, the IAEA is actually structured. Theyíre not designed; they are not tasked with finding nuclear weapons. They only go and look at the declared sites and just report on that, they look for materials not at designs.


JOHN BATCHELOR: In other words, if we sent them to look for a stolen chocolate cake they would come back and say they found flour, thatís what theyíd say, they would not say that they found a stolen chocolate cake, they would say that they have evidence of flour was here. Thatís the IAEA. Thatís a game. I am speaking with Alireza Jafarzadeh who is the president of Strategic Policy Consulting but I depend on him for interpreting the gap between ElBaradei diplomatic game and the facts established on the ground. I want again go thru this Alireza. I just want to do this one more detail because what exists cannot be argued about. Lavizan II and Parchin, two sites, go to look at Lavizan II. Right now the information, Alirezaís Information is that ElBaradei is commenting without having inspected that site and much of the progress that the IAEA has made over the last two years comes directly from the same source of information that put that up on Iran has a nuclear weapons program; itís only secret to men like ElBaradei who close their eyes on purpose.

This is John Batchelor, ABC Radio.

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