Larijani Interview with Time Magazine

March 5, 2006

Weapon Program: 

  • Nuclear

Secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council Ali Larijani in an exclusive interview with the weekly magazine 'Time' on February 27 said that Iran will consider talks with the US to address concerns over the country's peaceful nuclear activities as well as the issues of the Muslim world.

The Islamic Republic of Iran is ready to hold direct talks with US while the American seeks regime change under any circumstances, he said.

"When our religious leader tells us that we are not allowed to pursue nuclear weapons, then we cannot go after it. In the Islamic school of thought, mass murder is a great sin," he said.

"If our nuclear sites are to be targeted by the Israelis or the Americans, Iran's military response would not be a pleasant one," he warned.

"We are a country that is accountable. We accept supervision and inspections by the International Atomic Energy Agency. If there are some questions, we are prepared to answer those questions," he said.

"In the report issued by the IAEA's head, it said although we have no evidence to show that Iran's nuclear activities are of a military nature, the IAEA is not not in a position to declare that there is other nuclear material along with undeclared nuclear activities in the country.

"If they think that we are going to give in to threats of being referred to the UN Security Council, they are making a mistake. The nuclear issues has become a national will, that is, the peaceful nuclear technology," he said.

On probable sanctions imposed by the UN Security Council, he said, "There is a very strong possibility and we have prepared ourselves for the worst scenario to this end.

"We never surrender to threats. Those who try to inflict damages on us, they themselves will be the recipients of such damages in return." Imposing economic sanctions will be harmful to the European as well, he pointed out.

"On the worst scenario, he said there is a general rule which says those who fire first will be killed in the second round. If they attack us, there is no doubt that our response would not be a pleasant one. We will never sit idly and let Israeli targets our installations.

"We have no problems in holding direct talks with th Americans on our nuclear activities or the issues of Muslims in general but it is the Americans who are not sincere in their behavior," he said.

"The French philosopher Rene Descartes said 'I think, therefore I am', but the Americans believe that 'I am because I create problems'." When pressed by Time correspondent that "You believe that Israel should be wiped off the world map and on the other hand you expect the West to trust you that you are not pursuing nuclear bomb?", Larijani said these two points are not related and despite different views, violence should be avoided.

"Why does Iran not call on Hamas to enter into peace negotiations with Israel," asked Time and Larijani replied, "We never tell Hamas what to do but would advise them not to be deceived." On Iraq's security and Iran's interference in the country, he said, "Iraq is a Muslim country. When the Americans supported Saddam, all the present leaders were our guests, including Talabani, Barzani, Jafari, Hakim, and all those. The reason for our friendship now is that it goes back many years."