The U.S. has accepted the continuation of Iran’s nuclear enrichment program, an Iranian official said Sunday, a claim the Islamic regime’s media have also reported recently, citing comments by U.S. delegates to their Iranian counterparts at the Geneva 5+1 negotiations.
“The Islamic regime will never abide by the politics of America or any other country and has paid the price (through sanctions) to stick with its own policies,” Alaeddin Boroujerdi, chairman of the foreign policy and national security committee of the Iranian parliament, said in a meeting with Brazilian Senator Valdir Raupp, according to the regime’s media outlet ISNA.
In discussing the nuclear negotiations with Raupp, Boroujerdi said plainly that the Obama administration has accepted Iran’s right to continue nuclear enrichment.
Boroujerdi addressed America’s efforts to halt Iran’s enrichment activity for the last 10 years: “Today America has accepted that Iran has the right to enrichment, and a simple analysis of this fact is that America has surrendered to the will of the Islamic Republic.”
In reference to the nuclear negotiations between the 5+1 world powers and Iran in Geneva, he said that America is mistaken if it believes that it is the ultimate power.
“Currently we are engaged in the nuclear negotiations in Geneva, and in two days the new round of negotiations will take place,” he said.
A recent report by Irannuc.ir, a media outlet close to the Islamic regime’s intelligence community, also revealed that the American negotiating team has informed its Iranian counterpart that in the final agreement, to be reached within six months of the November preliminary agreement, Iran could keep enriching with as many as 4,000 centrifuges but the Iranian team responded that it would agree to 10,000. The outlet also reported that U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif are in constant contact in behind-the-scene negotiations.
Iran has negotiated its nuclear program with the U.S. and the world powers for over a decade, during which time it has successfully increased the number of centrifuges enriching uranium from 150 to over 19,000 today. It now has over 10 tons of low-enriched uranium — enough for several bombs — and has over a thousand ballistic missiles. In collaboration with North Korea, it is also working on both a nuclear bomb and intercontinental ballistic missiles.
Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, claimed victory over the United States shortly after the interim nuclear agreement was reached in Geneva between the Islamic Republic and the 5+1 world powers last November.
Under the agreement, Iran, in return for sanctions relief, will keep much of its nuclear infrastructure, is limited to enriching uranium to the five percent level for six months, will convert its highly enriched uranium of 20 percent to harmless oxide and will allow more intrusive inspections of its nuclear plants by the International Atomic Energy Agency, which will be limited to only agreed-on facilities. Military facilities are off-limits.
Iran has always believed that America has no choice but to accept its nuclear program. In an article in April 2012 titled “The Lessons from the Past for the Negotiations in April,” Mohammad Mohammadi, an Iranian international affairs and nuclear expert, wrote, “Looking back at the past decade, all the red lines by America and the West over Iran’s nuclear issue have now been transformed into acceptance. America has always adopted radical actions at first that have changed to symbolic measures later. Iran has always known that America and the West needed a way to solve the nuclear issue with some honor, and today it is quite visible that with the defeat of America’s policies toward Iran, the talk about a need to solve the Iranian nuclear issue diplomatically is a way to obtain that honor.”
The head of the Islamic regime’s Atomic Energy Organization, Ali Akbar Salehi, in a statement reported Sunday by Fars News Agency, a media outlet run by the Revolutionary Guards, said that the regime has the capability to enrich to the 60 percent level and that it will not give up its right to higher enrichment levels. The higher the enrichment, the closer to reaching nuclear weapons capability.
“The future is bright, and currently the country is looking to further quality in its nuclear activities,” he said.
Reza Kahlili is a pseudonym for a former CIA operative in Iran’s Revolutionary Guard and author of the award-winning book “A Time to Betray” (Simon & Schuster, 2010). He serves on the Task Force on National and Homeland Security and the advisory board of the Foundation for Democracy in Iran (FDI).