BREAKING NEWS

BREAKING NEWS

Soltanieh: 'Do not threaten or try to use force against Iranians'

Now Reading:

Soltanieh: 'Do not threaten or try to use force against Iranians'

Text size Aa Aa

The nuclear programme in Iran has proven to be an internationally divisive issue. Do the countries who themselves have nuclear power and perhaps also nuclear weapons, have the right to tell another country that they do not have the right?

Euronew’s Nima Ghadakpour interviewed Ali Asghar Soltanieh, Iran’s ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency at the IAEA headquarters in Vienna:

Nima Ghadakpour:

“First of all, It’s said that the resolution passed on the last day of the meeting, does not worry the Iranian authorities …”

Ali Asghar Soltanieh:

“It was a simple meeting of members of the IAEA, but the mistake of Director General Amano was to create a climate of hostility between the participating countries. In fact, instead of negotiating with the Iranians regarding possible military dimensions of their program, Mr. Amano, released the report, which was supposed to be confidential.”

Nima Ghadakpour:

“When were you first informed of the report’s existence?”

Ali Asghar Soltanieh:

“On October the 30th, the head of the

Atomic Energy Organisation of Iran, Dr. Abbasi, sent a letter to the IAEA inviting the deputy Director General of the agency to come in Iran. At the same time, we learned that the Director General had informed the members of the IAEA of the content of this report.”

Nima Ghadakpour:

“But in the last letter you sent, was the criticism indicated?”

Ali Asghar Soltanieh:

“Yes, in that letter, we reiterated the readiness of Iran to cooperate with the agency to put an end to concerns over the nuclear program. This is despite the fact that the IAEA had not yet submitted the necessary documents proving the military ambitions of the Iranian authorities. In that letter, we invited the vice secretary general of the agency to visit the official sites of the regime with a task force.”

Nima Ghadakpour:

“However, in the first letter, you agreed to accept a team of inspectors, one of the actions requested by the last resolution …”

Ali Asghar Soltanieh:

“Yes, and the agency wasted this opportunity. The day of the request, Mr. Amano was in Washington, saying that I would not allow the arrival of a group of inspectors in Iran.”

Nima Ghadakpour:

“Yet Mr. Amano said, according to the report that since 2008, officials of the Islamic Republic have not allowed inspectors to visit all of the nuclear sites. Is this true?”

Ali Asghar Soltanieh:

“No, these are two different points.

“Concerning the inspections, there are ongoing inspections, and the cameras of the agency are still present. The 10 page report written by Mr Amano, says that everything is under control, whether it be the enrichment centres at Natanz, Fordo, Isfahan and Arak. Everything is under the control of the IAEA.

“The second point concerns the accusations made by the Agency. It said that Iran wanted to focus on pre-2003 studies to develop nuclear weapons. We have said several times that to make such accusations, they must first provide evidence.

“How do you propose that Iran defends itself against accusations not built on evidence?

“At the time of al-Baredei -the former IAEA Director General – it was the U.S. authorities who made such accusations. But at the time, he had strongly objected to these charges by requesting that the United States provide evidence to the Iranian authorities, before making such accusations.”

Nima Ghadakpour:

“Talking of the Agency’s change of approach concerning the Iranian nuclear program, since the time of Mr. Al-Baredei, you talked of an historical mistake?”

Ali Asghar Soltanieh:

“Mr. Al-Baredei said at that time that the documents submitted to the agency by the Americans were not genuine. He found no evidence of military use of the atom. But since Mr. Amano arrived at the head of the agency, it seems that he has erased all the results of those inspections and we start all over again.:

Nima Ghadakpour:

“For many, the last resolution passed against Iran’s nuclear program is not as severe as some had hoped. The Israeli ambassador was particularly disappointed.

“Do you not think that this may cause a more severe reaction for the countries in the IAEA, and even for those outside of it?”

Ali Asghar Soltanieh:

“First, let me emphasise a very important point. Before the publication of the IAEA report, the Israelis and the Americans announced to the world that the document contained revelations about Iran’s nuclear program.

“After the publication of this report, everyone has said that ultimately there was nothing surprising in it. In short, everyone seemed surprised that there were no surprises.

“This is very important, and this is why Americans and Israelis failed to convince the other members of the agency to pass a tough resolution against Iran’s nuclear program.

“In addition, after the errors made by the Director General of the agency, most member countries, particularly the non-aligned countries, including the Egyptian ambassador and my Cuban colleague protested against the publication of this report. And then finally, the resolution adopted on the last day was not at all to the taste of Americans or Israelis.

“Also the last, less severe resolution, did not get the vote of all member countries. The resolution calls on Iranians to continue to cooperate with the agency.

“The letter I wrote to Mr. Amano, mentions the anger of Iranians the report included the names of Iranian scientists. This publication is responsible for the assassination of our scientists.

“I told him that he was partially responsible for endangering the lives of Iranians and their families.”

Nima Ghadakpour:

“But do you have proof to present to international organisations?”

Ali Asghar Soltanieh:

“Regarding the assassination of Iranian scientists, we had evidence and already submitted it to the IAEA

“In their confessions, the terrorists said they had received orders from the Israelis.

“But as part of the agency, I tell you, we will seriously pursue the matter because I believe that Iran is not alone. Tomorrow another country may also fall victim.

“Another important point concerns the UN resolution.

Iran is a responsible country and follows its commitments to the NPT (Non Proliferation Treaty). We will continue to cooperate, so visits and inspections will continue in Iran.”

Nima Ghadakpour

“What do you think is the solution to the Iranian nuclear issue? What direction should we take?”

Ali Asghar Soltanieh:

“You know that the Iranian nuclear issue, instead of being a technical matter became a political issue ever since it became the subject of debate in the UN Security Council. And ever since it became a political issue, the problem became more complicated.”

Nima Ghadakpour:

“But don’t you think the fact that Russia and China, permanent members of the UN Security Council, have been very supportive of Iran’s nuclear program, has done much to politicise this issue?”

Ali Asghar Soltanieh:

“In any case, the problem is that the Iranian issue was sent to the Security Council and the council has been very involved in this case.”

Nima Ghadakpour:

“As a representative of Iran to the IAEA, do you think your country is able, as you were asked in the last resolution, to be more open and clarify ambiguities in the Iranian nuclear program?”

Ali Asghar Soltanieh:

“I’ve already said that inspections would continue as normal. The inspectors can continue their visits, the agency cameras film activities on these sites. The agency has 24 hour surveillance. This continues like before.

“The agency carries out its audit work. I say this sincerely: the Islamic Republic has never been a threat to anyone in the world. The Iranians with their culture and ancient civilization have always sought dialogue with other civilisations.

“I gave an important example in my speech today: if you tell an Iranian ‘you must do this or that’, he will tell you in a loud voice ‘NO!’ But if you ask him politely to do something, he will answer ‘yes’ and will do its best to do it.

“So the West must learn one thing: do not threaten or try to use force against Iranians, and we’ll stick to the principles of dialogue and compromise.”