In 1998, during the Clinton administration, the United States Department of Defense vetoed a decision to send a group of nuclear scientists to Iran to inspect the country’s nuclear program. Iranian-American nuclear scientist Behrad Nakhai who was chosen to organize the visit says the initiative had been Iran’s.
In interview with Mashreq, he said that although the Pentagon could have placed some scientists of its own choice among the visiting crew, it disagreed with the whole idea of such a visit. The following is what Nakhai said in the interview:
When Iran’s nuclear program was growing, the objective was to produce 20 thousand MW of the country’s electricity from the nuclear energy. At that time our only revenue came from oil. So if oil was to be used at home, the opportunity to make money from it and make investments would have been wasted. For the fact that there were uranium mines in Iran, the nuclear energy seemed a good choice where to make the country’s industrial energy. Not only would Americans much encourage launching a nuclear program in Iran, they would also support enriching uranium in Iran, so that they would find customers for the uranium enriched in Iran and sell it to the world.
At that time there were political issues for which the US could not enrich uranium itself to sell it to other countries. That’s why it was looking forward to doing the enrichment in Iran and selling it via Iran to other countries.
It is not right to say that Iran’s nuclear program has been clandestine. If so, how come at the time of Reagan the US pressurized the IAEA to stop cooperating with Iran on enrichment?
The Americans won’t be content if our nuclear facilities are shut down or even destroyed. Their problem is that there are people in Iran who have the nuclear knowhow and they might start Iran’s nuclear program over.
Our heavy water center is still in its preliminary stages and no nuclear substance has been brought there, therefore it is not needed to be overseen by the IAEA. According to the rules of the IAEA which we have signed and adhere to, we are bound to report to the IAEA six months before we are ever going to take nuclear substance into a building or facilities. Prior to that, we need not announce it.
On the other hand, France, who sees itself deprived of the Iranian market, has to attract Arab countries in order to hold over their markets so that maybe it can compensate. Strong opposition to Iran will turn not only the Zionist, but the Arab countries toward France. French leaders’ statements do not come from reality and are not honest; they rather come from their empty pockets. Now that they are in harsh economic situations they follow the policy, so France should not be counted at all here. The French Foreign Minister’s acts look rather like those of a streetwalker.