Deconstructing Iran's game of nuclear deception

Hossein Mousavian is playing a cynical game of manipulation on Iran's nuclear programme. We must not fall for it.

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Nuclear plant at Bushehr
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Wahied Wahdat-Hagh
On 8 April 2012 12:13

Iran demands the world’s acceptance of its nuclear program and also that the international community be silent regarding human rights violations within its borders. This is what Hossein Mousavian calls for in a commentary in the Boston Globe as the Iranian leadership aims to leave the door open to the possibility of one day building the atomic bomb.

He's an interesting figure. Between 1990 and 1993, when Lebanese Hezbollah captured two Germans, it was Mousavian who mediated and who facilitated their release. He was also involved in the release of hostages held by Hezbollah in 1989 and 1999. It should not be forgotten that at that time, as today, Iran was giving financial support to Hezbollah.

Concerning the upcoming nuclear talks with Iran, Mousavian argues optimistically and calls for a breakthrough from the global stalemate. In reality, he wants to secure the survival of the Islamic dictatorship. Mousavian believes the protagonists in the conflict will only find a way out of the impasse after the acceptance of the Western world of Islamic totalitarian rule in Iran.

First of all, Mousavian requires the West’s acceptance of Iran's enrichment program. The ex-nuclear negotiator knows that the West demands the opposite. Mousavian, the long arm of Iran's Supreme Leader, couches his statement in Western terms and not in the aggressive form we are accustomed to from the likes of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

But with seemingly rational arguments Mousavian repeats what we hear in the hate sermons of the Friday prayers in Teheran.

He is very strong in insisting that sanctions, covert action and military strikes will not halt Iran's nuclear program and also claims that Iran reached "break-out capability" 10 years ago, i.e. Iran had enough nuclear fuel in 2002 to build at least one nuclear bomb.

“Notwithstanding, the United States, the European Union, and even Israel agree on three things: Tehran does not have a bomb, has not decided to build one, and is years away from having a deliverable nuclear warhead. Iran’s current nuclear program is, therefore, not an imminent threat - leaving time for diplomacy to succeed.”

Mousavian "knows" that the Western powers assume that Iran is not able to build a nuclear bomb and that Iran has not even decided to acquire the atomic bomb.

The Iranian negotiator makes one thing clear – Iran has had the potential to build a nuclear bomb for a long time. Mousavian’s arguments are not really different to statements made by Ahmadinejad and Khamenei that Iran does not want to build a nuclear bomb. At least not yet.

Mousavian says Iran is probably able to build a bomb. Ahmadinejad said recently in an interview with German state broadcaster, ZDF: “If Iran wants to build the bomb, no one will be asked”.

However, Mousavian points to the U.S. President, who is looking for diplomatic solutions. Mousavian also wants a diplomatic solution but he begins with an aggressive move. Firstly, he makes clear that the West is wrong. He demonstrates that the West has underestimated Iran’s acquired potential. Mousavian also demands the surrender of the West in that  “the U.S. government has to give up the plan for a regime change”.

He also speaks about the duties of the Iranian people and states that Iranians should subordinate themselves to the eternal power of the totalitarian dictatorship. Mousavian is not exactly modest – he demands the “recognition of Iran’s inalienable rights to enrichment.” Sanctions should be stopped.

The world has to respect the nuclear program of a murderous regime, he says. In calling for such things, Mousavian speaks with Persian "Taarof". This is known in Iran as a false politeness and exaggerated demeanor.

Yes, Mousavian guarantees that Iran will show transparency towards the IAEA, but Iran itself will define what transparency actually means. Ahmadinejad clarified this issue in his ZDF interview when the Iranian president asked the interviewer if any inspector would be allowed to inspect the offices of the German Chancellor.

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