Fox News-Fox & Friends Weekend

Saturday, November 20, 2004

 

Eye on Iran

 

Julian Phillips: There are reports Iran is making massive quantities of a gas used to nuclear weapons. The question is: will the county honor its agreement to suspend nuclear activities by the deadline, Monday.

 

 

Mike Jerrick: Alireza Jafarzadeh is with us. He is a Fox News Foreign Affairs Analyst. Itís really great to see you again.

 

Alireza Jafarzadeh: Great to see you, Mike.

 

Mike Jerrick: I know that you revealed the existence of several Iranian nuclear facilities. What is going on? Is there a brand new site that we should be concerned about?

 

Alireza Jafarzadeh: Actually there is. There are actually two of them that were revealed by the Iranís main opposition, the National Council of Resistance of Iran, just a couple of days ago in Paris.One is in north east of Tehran, in Lavizan area. Thatís the site that the opposition now says Iran is doing laser enrichment. This is a new way of enriching uranium. This is something that Iran had claimed that they are not doing at all. In fact the latest report in September by IAEA, there is a statement by Iran that says they have abandoned any kind of laser enrichment. And now you have this site that has all the equipments and facilities and they [the opposition] are urging the IAEA to go and inspect the site. There is another site in the east of Tehran, in an area called Parchin. And in that area, which is a large military complex that they do explosive tests, they believe that there is laser enrichment going on there.This is just an additional window into Iranís nuclear weapons program, which was already very extensive, very secretive and very dangerous.

 

Julian Phillips:Now, Alireza, this sounds all credible, the pictures do seem alarming. But we have seen this before. Of course, Secretary of State, Colin Powell and Deputy Secretary of State, Richard Armitage, came and they have also said the same thing. But right before we went into Iraq, they were talking about weapons of mass destruction; nothing there. How good is this intelligence?

 

 

Alireza Jafarzadeh: Well, there is a world of difference. Because in the case of Iran, weíre not just talking about accusations. We are talking about specific facts that have been supported by IAEA inspections. Iran didnít reveal any of these sites. It was the Iranian opposition that first revealed them. Then the UN inspectors wanted to go and see the sites. And when they went there, they found the sites, they found the centrifuge machines that were sitting there, and they found various violations of the NPT. So these are specific facts and locations, specific places, which is very different than those unsubstantiated allegations related to the neighboring country.

 

Mike Jerrick: So what did they agree to do? Stop enriching the Uranium? I mean turning tons and tons of ore into this supposedly dual-purpose gas? They say itís for electricity, we along with some other countries say itís for the bomb.

 

Alireza Jafarzadeh: Well, Iran was actually basically forced into this kind of agreement which I donít think they are going to respect it, anyways. Because they made the same agreement last year to suspend all their enrichment related activities and they violated that. Now according to this agreement, starting from this coming Monday, they will have to stop all enrichment related activities. What they are doing now, they are converting yellow cake, huge amounts of it, to Uranium Hexafluoride. Now, Uranium Hexafluoride is the feed for the centrifuge that can produce both nuclear fuel but also fissile material for the bomb.

 

Julian Phillips:Ok, Alireza, we have run out of time. Alireza Jafarzadeh, thank you so much.

 

Alireza Jafarzadeh: Youíre welcome.

 

Mike Jerrick: We will have to keep an eye on this. We will have to have him back.

 

Julian Phillips: Definitely.

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