Alireza Jafarzadeh discusses Iranian Nuclear Weapon Development on America’s Radio News
Alireza Jafarzadeh is the Iranian born President of Strategic Policy Consulting, Inc. who while living in exile, revealed Iran’s secret nuclear sites in Natanz and Arak in 2002. He joins America’s Radio News to discuss the possibility of Iranian covert missiles that can carry nuclear warheads and nuclear weapons development in Iran.
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Radio News: I’m gonna get through this name and I’m gonna completely butcher it I’m afraid. Alireza Jafarzadeh joins us. He’s the Iranian born president of the strategic policy consulting center and while living in exile he reveled Iran’s secret nuclear sights back in 2002. Alireza thank you so much for joining us, I really appreciate it.
Alireza Jafarzadeh: Thank you very much and you did a great job pronouncing my name.
Radio News: Thank you very much. You know, this is interesting. Yesterday it was reviled that Iran was testing a network of underground medium range missiles. They were talking about having silos and such and apparently no one in the west knew anything about this. This sounds very dangerous.
Alireza Jafarzadeh: Absolutely. You know, Iran has been developing this missile program for decades and for a good purpose, because parallel to the missile program, Iran has been developing a very sophisticated stance that the nuclear weapons program for over two decades and the combination of the two would be obviously very deadly and we have information that Tehran has been working for a long time on developing nuclear warheads and we’ve been hearing recently that Tehran has been increasingly defined on its nuclear program. There are new nuclear sights that was reveled by the main Iranian opposition that was mentioned earlier, the mujahedin-khalq, the MEK and the new places that are producing parts for sensitive machines and they are going to move their program increasingly underground into tunnels where they can produce 3 times as much and uranium up to 20% which is way beyond a peaceful level. So this is not good news as far as Tehran is concerned.
Radio News: How close are they to actually having a nuclear weapon that they could stick on top of the missile?
Alireza Jafarzadeh: Well that’s a tough thing to know because you know the entire program has been secret and only we know information about them when they were exposed by the opposition. But the information we have as of now indicates that they are not too far away. They are definitely not 10 years away or even 5 years away. So you know, this is a dangerous period and there are reports that indicate that they are actually even more advanced then we already knew. So I think the west must realize that the clock is running and Tehran is advancing forward very rapidly and we need to have a policy in the united states and in Europe but particularly here to be able to counter the threat of the Iranian regime rather then allowing the opportunity for Tehran to develop its program.
Radio News: Sir the resolution passed in 1929 by the UN Security Council. Resolution 1929 I should say, was passed a year ago and it tightens sanctions against Iran opposed over the nuclear program. How does that affect the news we’re getting over the last day or so? And the second question to that, Brittan came out today saying that they believe they are carrying out covert tests with missiles that could carry out nuclear warheads. Is there truth to that then?
Alireza Jafarzadeh: Definitely. First of all, first question-that resolution passed last year was meant to basically tighten sanctions and make it more difficult for Tehran to develop its program. It has had some effect but not a whole lot. As you know, when you have a regime that is intent at any cost to develop a nuclear bomb, simply imposing sanctions wouldn’t be enough. And I think those reports about secret testing of missiles would be capable of carrying nuclear warheads corroborates with the information that we had gotten earlier. I don’t know specifically about this information. We had information before that corroborates with this one. And I think in this context even the fact that what’s happening in the region in the so called Arab Spring has really frightened the Iranian regime, because they feel they have the same problem with greater impact inside Iran. The majority of the Iranian population are opposed to this regime. They rose up back in 2009 earlier then the Arab Spring called for regime change, unfortunately there wasn’t that much help that came form the outside world. Tehran feels at this time that they are threatened internally and externally based on the notion that the best defense is a good offense. They are stepping up their nuclear program and their missile program hoping that the international community would be frightened and would back down and wouldn’t touch the regime and wouldn’t do anything. To the contrary there are many, especially the US congress, there is a large bipartisan group of congress saying this is a regime that despite what they are doing they are weak they are vulnerable, there is great potential for change inside Iran. What the U.S. needs to do is reach out to the Iranian opposition, the same opposition that released all these major nuclear sites of Iran and organize the opposition two years ago and ever since we need to reach out to them and empower them and allow them to operate in full throttle rather then limiting the activity of the opposition as the state department is doing right now.
Radio News: Do the people of Iran support what the government of Iran is doing?
Alireza Jafarzadeh: They are really opposed to whatever the Iranian regime is doing. The people of Iran want a free democratic society a secular society that’s why they rose when they saw an opportunity two years ago. They rose up against the regime they chanted “death to Khamenei”, the supreme leader “death to Ahmadinejad” “death to the entire clerical system” if it weren’t for the inaction of the outside world and the suppression of the revolutionary guards this regime would have be gone long ago. There is a large number of people that have been executed by the Iranian regime for their political beliefs but that hasn’t ended the opposition. To the contrary there is a much more organized opposition. Just last week in Paris there was a huge gathering of as many as 100,000 people of these Iranians who live in the U.S. Europe and other places who call for regime change who call for supporting the main opposition the MEK and the leader of the opposition which is a woman, Maryam Rajavi saying we want democracy and freedom in Iran and not the ayatollahs. So clearly there is an indication inside Iran and outside Iran that there is a great potential for change but the policy in the United States is not compatible with that. They are limiting themselves to imposing some sanctions and criticizing from time to time but not going any further.
Radio News: Alireza, the British secretary William Hague, he said Iran has announced plans to triple its capacity to produce 20% enriched uranium levels which he says is far greater than what’s needed for peaceful nuclear energy. What does that mean?
Alireza Jafarzadeh: That means that he’s referring to a recent announcement made by the Iranian regime that a nuclear site that is being built near the city of Qom which is an underground site, by the way, this site was first exposed by the main Iranian opposition back in 2005 and Iran I going to install as many as 3,000 centrifuge machines in that underground facility inside the mountain and these are very advanced centrifuge machines that are 3 times higher so that they enrich uranium 3 times faster and there is going to enrich uranium up to 20% as opposed to the regular peaceful level which is 3.5%. They are going to do it underground so no one can deter them. They can’t even be hit. This is the first time that uranium enrichment is taking place underground away from the eyes of the outside world and up to that level so that’s a very worrying thing that the British foreign secretary is referring to.
Radio News: Alireza Jafarzadeh with us the Iranian born president of strategic policy consulting, thank you so much for your insights.
Alireza Jafarzadeh: Thank you very much.