Alireza Jafarzadeh interview with Fox News on Iranís nuclear promises


Fox News Live

November 18, 2004


Is Iran playing a Shell Game

Over its Nuclear Capabilities?



Jon Scott: Is Iran playing a shell game over its nuclear capabilities? Not only has our Secretary of State come out and said Iran is trying to adapt missiles to carry nuclear weapons, now an exiled Iranian opposition group says Tehran has a secret uranium enriching facility previously unknown to the international community. Check out these new exclusive photos we just got hold of. The revelation comes just a few weeks before Iranís atomic program will top the agenda at the United Nations nuclear watchdog agency. Iran has strongly denied the existence of such a facility but what can the world do to make sure Tehran doesnít develop a nuclear weapon? For some insight we are joined by Joe Cirincione. He is the director for non proliferation at the Carnegie Endowment of International Peace and also by Fox News Foreign Affairs Analyst, Alireza Jafarzadeh. Gentlemen, welcome thanks for being with us.



Alireza Jafarzadeh: Thank You.


Joe Cirincione: Thank You.


Jon Scott: Joe first of all, is the international community fairly convinced that Iran doesnít already have a nuclear bomb?


Joe Cirincione: Oh, I donít think many people believe it has a weapon. The IAEA has just issue a report that summarized its two years of investigations and concluded that Iran does not have any detectable nuclear weapons related activity. Iran does have a very ambitious program that it kept hidden from the world for over eighteen years to develop what they say is the peaceful uses of nuclear energy. The basic problem is those same technologies that can enrich uranium for fuel rods one year can be used to enrich uranium for a bomb the next. So weíre trying to detect whether there are any additional facilities. The IAEA has not closed the books on this. Are there any additional facilities that we donít know about where there is weapons specific work going on?


Jon Scott: Mr. Jafarzadeh, you have some indication based on these satellite photos that the situation may be even more dangerous than what the IAEA has been led to believe.



Alireza Jafarzadeh: Exactly, Jon. I think this new revelation in Paris yesterday of a seven page report by Iranís main opposition, the National Council of Resistance shows yet another new site that was hidden from the international inspectors --it was not declared. This is a site that is the headquarters for the ďCenter for Modern Defensive Readiness and Technology.Ē It is run by the Ministry of Defense and the Revolutionary Guards. It has some equipment and facilities that were moved from an older site nearby, in the general area of Lavizan intended to hide it in this new place. And you saw these new satellite photos of this new place that was not declared. I think this is a big challenge both for Iran, for the IAEA, for the Europeans and the United States. To quickly get in an action. For Iran to accept the inspectors to show them the site. For the IAEA to quickly get there and for the Europeans to clarify things, because they made it sound as though they got a great deal.


Jon Scott: Joe Cirincione, has Iran pulled the wall over the eyes of some of the Europeans?



Joe Cirincione: We donít know yet, what we have is allegations. Now remember, in the run up to the war in Iraq we had some similar allegations from Iraqi dissident groups about weapons in Iraq, none of them proved to be true. We had similar allegations from the Secretary of State, Colin Powell about weapons. None of them proved to be true. And it doesnít mean because we falsely called wolf last time that there isnít really a wolf this time but we do have a credibility problem in the world. I agree with the comments just made. The trick is to get Iran to let inspectors into that site. Letís wrestle it to the ground right now.


Jon Scott: We are going to have to keep an eye on that situation. Alireza Jafarzadeh and Joe Cirincione, thank you.


Alireza Jafarzadeh: Thank you.

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