Dissident: Iran Unlikely to Honor Nuclear Accord
Friday, 03 Apr 2015 03:17 PM
By Sean Piccoli
A nuclear agreement with Iran unveiled on Thursday is nowhere near finalized and it’s already producing sharp, possibly fatal disagreements between the parties over who agreed to what, says an Iranian exile who first blew the whistle on the country’s secret nuclear weapons research in the 2000s.
“I don’t know exactly what to call it, because nothing really has been signed,” Alireza Jafarzadeh, deputy director of the U.S. Representative Office of the National Council of Resistance of Iran, told “MidPoint” host Ed Berliner on Newsmax TV on Friday.
Jafarzadeh was referring to the various descriptions of what was reportedly achieved Thursday, with news reports and the parties themselves deploying terminology such as “outline,” “framework” and “political understanding.”
Whatever it’s called, Jafarzadeh said that Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif immediately disputed a White House summary of what Iran gets, and when, in return for curtailing its nuclear program.
“The Iran regime’s foreign minister, Zarif, said that, well, what the White House has posted on its website is actually spin, and he didn’t agree with it,” said Jafarzadeh. “His interpretation is that all the [economic] sanctions by the U.S. and E.U. would all be lifted immediately after the agreement is signed.”
“What the text on the website of the White House says is that the sanctions will be lifted after the Iranian regime complies with its nuclear commitments on a whole host of things,” said Jafarzadeh. “So, there is a sharp difference right there, minutes after the announcement was made, and that’s the dilemma you’re going to be facing.”
He said Iran’s history — as a negotiating partner, repeat violator of past nuclear non-proliferation agreements, and a regime “built and based on deception and lying” — is not encouraging.
It was Jafarzadeh’s dissident exile group, the Resistance Council, that first alerted the world to unauthorized nuclear weapons research in Iran in the 2000s, which in turn led to U.N. Security Council resolutions ordering Iran to stop enriching uranium.
“Even those things that Tehran agreed upon before and signed, they violated later on at their will,” he said. “So, I’m not sure what to interpret what this agreement is all about, because it may not even happen at all.”
Jafarzadeh said that depriving Iran of any and all centrifuges for enriching uranium is the only way to ensure that the regime in Tehran won’t continue to try to weaponize its nuclear energy program. Yet the new agreement allows for thousands of centrifuges to remain.
Jafarzadeh said that of special concern are about 1,000 of the purifying spinners housed inside an underground mountain facility called Fordow. The White House says the Fordow centrifuges will be inactive. Jafarzadeh sounded incredulous.
“Why do we want to have 1,000 centrifuges in an underground facility under the mountains sitting there and not enriching unless there is a purpose for it as far as Tehran is concerned?” he said. “Why do you want to provide the ability for Iran to at some point decide to start enriching or using those centrifuges, which are far more difficult to get to and far more difficult to inspect?”
Jafarzadeh also said the agreement, by recognizing Iran’s right to enrich uranium, backpedals from the Security Council resolutions demanding Iran cease all enrichment-related activities.
Finally, he said, big questions remain over nuclear inspections to verify that Iran is honoring its commitments.
“In terms of the access to the sites, inspections and all of that, it’s yet to be decided which part of it Iran is going to agree to,” he said. “Are all the military sites, for instance, all the suspect sites, included in that inspections [list], or just the declared sites?
“There’s a big difference, and all of those things have to be addressed, and I’m not sure three months down the road, come June, if any of those things will be agreed upon by Iran,” he said.
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