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Jan 11, 2005
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Hamid-Reza Asefi, Spokesman for the Iranian Foreign Ministry on Iran's Nuclear Intentions

#485 | 02:54
Source: IRIB/ Jaam-E-Jam1 TV (Iran)

Hamid-Reza Asefi Spokesman for the Iranian Foreign Ministry appeared on Jam-e Jam 1 (Iran) on January 11, 2005:

Asefi: The westerners said in the past to the previous regime, "You should have nuclear energy. Nuclear power stations are both healthier and cheaper," and so forth. This is one of the points of contention between ourselves and the Westerners. We ask them why nuclear power plants are good for a certain regime, but aren't good for another? This shows that political motives are behind the affair.

Mahdi [a caller from Cyprus]: I wanted to know what our [Iran's] policy is going to be for this new year. Will it be as it was in the past? Are we, for the sake of Palestine – or rather, for the Arabs' sake, going to be under political, media, and economic pressures? That's it. I wanted you to answer this question.

Host: Thank you…

Caller: As an Iranian youth… How much longer must I endure these pressures, for the sake of the Palestinians? Why aren't the Arabs supporting them?

Asefi: It is true that we are defending Palestine's hopes. It is true that we are defending the Palestinian public, but at the same time we are defending our own national interest as well. Host: Do you mean that we feel threatened by Israel?

The Muslim world feels threatened by Israel. That is true. They themselves don't hide this. They still want to make good on the slogan, "from the Nile to the Euphrates." We did not start a war with the Israelis. It is the diplomatic right of every nation to define its identity. Iran has the right to recognize one country, and not to recognize another. It is its diplomatic right to consider the Zionist regime an illegitimate regime and an illegitimate country, and not to recognize it. It may be that someone will destroy the nuclear facilities, but it is impossible to destroy the nuclear know-how. This know-how is in the minds of this country's youth. If a given facility should be destroyed, another one will be built. We are not worried on that count. The Americans and the Israelis themselves said that an attack on Iran's facilities would not solve the problem, since Iran already possesses the relevant knowledge. If they destroy any facilities, they will be rebuilt elsewhere the next day. What is more, the world knows that one cannot speak with Iran in that language [of threats]. We are not the ones who boycotted American oil companies. As you may remember, when I was the ambassador to France, 10 to 12 years ago, we signed a contract with Coneco. Since Mr. Clinton declared a boycott, we conducted negotiations with Total and signed the same contract. Any country that conforms to the standards we require in quality, quantity, price, and competitiveness, we have no problem with them, whether it's America, England, or any other country. We will negotiate with them.

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