Alireza Jafarzadeh interview with Fox News Big Story, John Gibson. Can we trust Iran?


Friday, November 26, 2004


Iranian Intentions?


GEORGE BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: First of all, I appreciate the nations of Great Britain and Germany and France, who are working to try to convince Iran to honor their international treaty obligations.

And the only good deal is one that's verifiable.



JOHN GIBSON: Iran is agreeing to freeze its nuclear program; backing down on demands to keep some centrifuges running. Fox Foreign Affairs Analyst Alireza Jafarzadeh joins me now. And the big question, Alireza: so, can we trust Iran to implement this nuclear freeze that they've promised?




Definitely you cannot trust the Iranian ayatollahs because of the more than two decades of a record of lies and deception. And particularly since last year, when they committed themselves to be transparent and cooperate; they'd continued to lie and deceive and to violate their own promises.

They made the same promise last year; they violated that. And I think this has been a trend.


GIBSON: OK. Let's back up here.

This story has changed a couple of times today. This morning when I woke up, they had agreed to the freeze, to stop all nuclear activity that could lead toward the making of a bomb, but asked that they please be allowed to have these centrifuges run for a few weeks more to continue their research.

So, how did they think they were going to get way with that?


JAFARZADEH: Well, this is just a typical last-minute trick of the ayatollahs. They use it as a bargaining chip; they push the envelope as far as they can. And at the end of the day, if it didn't work, then they say, "OK, it's fine." And they will make everybody happy. The people will think they got a great deal with Iran.

But the reality is otherwise. It's Iran that actually got away with their lies and deceptions. They violated their own commitments last year; they violated that; now they got a better deal. Last year when they made the same commitment, they didn't have the concessions that they got now from the Europeans.

Now, the Europeans...


GIBSON: What are they getting from the Europeans?



JAFARZADEH: Well, the Europeans are saying that we are now going to provide you with nuclear technological assistance; we're going to provide you with a nuclear reactor; we're going to provide you with nuclear fuel; you're going have lucrative economic and trade deals.

And most importantly, Europe is going to continue to label Iran's main opposition, the Mujahedeen Khalq, as a terrorist. This is the same group that made all these major revelations about these nuclear sites. So this is what Iran is getting for really nothing, because they had the same commitment last year and they violated that.


GIBSON: OK. But is there any transparency? Is there any way, as the President said, to verify their claims that they're not conducting this research? Or can they just go right on doing it under the nose of the Europeans and the IAEA?


JAFARZADEH: Well, yes, there can be ways to verify things. And I think President Bush is right in saying that nothing should be considered as a done deal unless it's verified. And I'm surprised that how come the International Atomic Energy Agency has not done what they needed to do.

Because just two weeks ago, the main opposition that was responsible for previous revelations revealed another nuclear site in Lavizan, Tehran, saying that they're now doing laser enrichment there. There was another site in Parchin, that...


GIBSON: These are pictures, by the way, of those very sites.



What you're looking at is the new site in Lavizan that the National Council of Resistance, Iran revealed two weeks ago. This is the site that was run by the military, by the Revolutionary Guards and the Defense Ministry. They removed some of the equipment that from another site nearby into this new building and they're now doing laser enrichment here.

And this site has not been declared by Iran; it has not been inspected by the International Atomic Energy Agency. These are the things that need to be done. But I tell you honestly, in the absence of a decisive and a firm policy, no matter how much scrutiny is done, how much negotiations you do, at the end of the day, it's Iran that is going to be the winner.



GIBSON: OK, Alireza, if the British, French, and Germans' idea sounds good, but ultimately is failure and it isn't going to work, and these guys are on their way to getting a bomb, which we don't want them to have, what is the United States supposed to do? How are we supposed to stop that?


JAFARZADEH: Well, the United States should definitely, when it comes to the IAEA and the international community, they should definitely call for referring Iran's file to the United Nations Security because there has been enough violations so far, that would warrant that. But, that's not enough.

On the political side, the United States must make things very difficult for Iran. They must make Tehran to pay for their violations in the past. And the way to do it is to threaten the very existence of the ayatollahs. And I'm not talking about sending troops or making military strikes, but I'm talking about reaching out to the Iranian opposition, who are already calling for regime change in Iran. There were thousands of them here on Capitol Hill last week who said that enough is enough. They opposed the nuclear program of the Iranian regime. And they called for regime change.

They said the U.S. policy should shift from a policy of being indecisive, from a policy of calling the opposition as terrorists, into a policy that would call for regime change; that would support the main Iranian opposition group both inside and outside the country to realize that change.


GIBSON: Fox Foreign Affairs Analyst Alireza Jafarzadeh. Alireza, good to see you. Thanks a lot for coming in.


JAFARZADEH: Thank you very much, John.

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