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Another Promise from Iran?

April 6, 2004

 

Patti Ann Browne: Iran is making another promise to cooperate with the International Atomic Energy Agency on its nuclear program. Tehran is saying it will stop building centrifuges this week, as the head of the IAEAís nuclear watchdog; Mohammad Elbaradei is visiting the country.

Joining us now, former US representative of the National Council of Resistance of Iran and Fox News foreign affairs analyst, Alireza Jafarzadeh, thank you very much for joining us.

 

Alireza Jafarzadeh: Thank you Patti.

 

 

 

Patti Ann Browne: Well, Iran is promising cooperation, is the country cooperating or is it trying to have it both ways?

 

Alireza Jafarzadeh: Certainly they are not cooperating at all. What they announced yesterday that they are going to stop making centrifuge machines, I think itís a joke, itís an absolute joke. This is what they said back in March, this is what they said in their report to the IAEA in February. This is what they said in December. This is what they said in their November 10th report to the IAEA. And in the meantime, what they did? They continued to build centrifuge machines. They just announced last month that they inaugurated the Uranium Conversion Facility in Isfahan that is a necessary part of enriching uranium, providing feed for the uranium enrichment machines.

 

Patti Ann Browne: So how close is Iran to having a usable nuclear bomb?

 

 

 

Alireza Jafarzadeh: I think, according to their own latest assessment that they had in early February, in a secret meeting they had in Tehran, attended by the supreme leader Khamenei. In that meeting, they decided to go ahead, full speed in trying to get the bomb by the end of 2005. So the clock is ticking, this is a very very serious situation and I think what the IAEA needs to do is this: The IAEA need to run a two minute drill on Iranís nuclear weapons program before the Ayatollahs in Tehran can manage to run out the clock on the IAEA. No concessions. No waste of time. Period.

 

 

 

 

Patti Ann Browne: And as weíve mentioned of course, the head of the IAEA Mohammad Elbaradei is visiting the country. What are you expecting from that visit?

 

Alireza Jafarzadeh: Well, Iím telling you honestly, this is a short visit, heís going on Tuesday, coming back on Wednesday. So itís like basically going to political meetings. I think what the Iranians need to hear from Mr. Elbaradei, is to hear in a decisive voice that they should stop playing games, they should stop delaying things. They should abandon their nuclear weapons program. Period. What I heard from the Iranians today is that oh, theyíre going to stop building enrichment machines. This is a joke. Itís just playing games. This is an old promise they gave five months ago. And they kept violating it. So you canít allow the Iranians to play games and drag the issue and buy a precious time. They need like less than two years to be able to build their weapons program.

 

Patti Ann Browne: Well, yeah. And you said that you would like Elbaradei to address some specific issues like one of them being Tehranís claims that this highly enriched uranium was actually originated from outside Iran. Now you think this is questionable?

 

Alireza Jafarzadeh: This is seriously questionable. They have not been able to explain what were the sources of the traces of enriched uranium they found in two sites, in Natanz and Kala Electric. Thereís also another question about the very sensitive advanced P-2 machines. These are super fast machines thatís used for enriching uranium that reduces the time of enrichment and they didnít announce it to begin with. Since the IAEA caught them with the blue prints and the program, they havenít been able to explain at what stage they were, what parts they have built, where they have done the research, etc. Thereís also the question about the polonium 210 that has no peaceful usage, and they made that.

 

Patti Ann Browne: Excellent questions. Thank you so much for joining us, Alireza Jafarzadeh. Thank you again.

 

Alireza Jafarzadeh: Thank you Patty.

 

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