TRANSLATION AND TRANSCRIPTION
OF DR. ASSAD HOMAYOUN'S INTERVIEW
MR. SAEED GHAEM-MAGHAMI
(RADIO KRSI LOS ANGELES)
SEPTEMBER 12, 2005
Q: We asked Dr. Assad Homayoun, a former diplomat and an expert in our nation=s current affairs, to participate in a discussion on radio today [regarding Iran=s nuclear weapons activities and the upcoming UN meeting]. Good morning, Dr. Homayoun.
AH: Good morning Mr. Ghaem-Maghami and good morning to my fellow countrymen, who listen to your program.
Q: Thank you for accepting our invitation. Mr. Homayoun, a U.N. Security Council=s meeting is a meeting that determines the future. Will this upcoming meeting be a pivotal one?
AH: This week, just like you said earlier, is the last week before the meeting of the Council scheduled for Sept. 19 and behind-the-scenes political activities have begun. And America has decided to put the nuclear matter before the U.N. and its 35-member countries for vote. Some countries are not agreeable such as Malaysia, South Africa, Venezuela, and even India has hinted that it will reject it.
Q: What about Russia, Mr. Homayoun?
AH: Russia too and China B but of course when it goes to the Council, Russia and China will become very important because both of them have vetoing power unlike India or the smaller member countries which do not have primary roles. America believes that it has sufficient supporters at the U.N. B the majority B and the matter can be put before it.
Q: Does the decision on the Islamic Republic=s record on nuclear weapons before the U.N. Security Council need to be decided by majority or unanimously?
AH: To the best of my knowledge, it=s majority but at the Security Council unanimously and the diplomatic efforts of America this week has taken a momentum. Ms. Rice asked China, Russia, and India to help with this matter so that Iran=s situation becomes based on civil rights and for it to go before the U.N. Security Council. This political war has escalated and the Islamic Republic, to the best of my knowledge, in the past few days has been internally trying to find a way not to become entangled with the whole world and to stop their nuclear weapons program from going before the Security Council while at the same time, as usual, to continue with their own agenda. But I doubt that the U.S. will fall for it B but of course, in diplomacy there are always disagreements but not with respect to Iran B America might delay its plans against Iran because of its current problems B and even this week the continued efforts of France and Germany are suspicious; they are still trying to buy time and the Islamic Republic wants to buy time, but the U.S., under no circumstances, will trust the words or actions of the Islamic Republic and will not change its mind. Typically, America has a few options for this B one is diplomacy during this last week which may not accomplish anything and I doubt that diplomacy will succeed and the American government does not trust this situation at all. The second option is sanctions B with respect to sanctions, even if China and Russia do not veto which in my opinion China will B but they in general, and the global economy as a whole, need America. Even if they don=t do this and it goes to the Security Council, the Islamic Republic will retaliate and since North Korea practically defied the Agency, the Islamic Republic will do the same. The Agency has weakened even though 35 countries have access to weapons of destruction, America and the world wants the Agency to strengthen. Otherwise, the nuclear weapons proliferation program will be moot and useless. And the last option that America has which it can implement is military action. That is, every country for its own protection first uses diplomacy especially in connection with America, then sanctions, and finally military power. But in Iran, they believe that since America is wrapped up in Iraq and the recent Louisiana disaster for which it has to spend more than $250 billion to rehabilitate the area and get those people back on their feet, it will not take military action B Tehran is making this assumption. To some, this may be right; but in reality, that=s not true. Even though we, you, myself, and other fellow Iranians oppose military action against our country B as the famous 19th Century French historian said AMy country is my highest idol@ B nobody wants his country to be attacked, but America may do this especially since in the past couple of weeks, the Department of Defense is reviewing its own nuclear capabilities. So that they can give permission to the American commanders - in the air force, navy, and other places such as central command B with the permission of the President of the United States to use nuclear weapons in three ways. This is a very important point. First, against those enemies who have nuclear and biological weapons; second, against those who are enemies of the U.S. and are trying to and will obtain such weapons; and finally, against those who want to hurt America and have terrorist connections. This is very alarming because a big country such as America that monitors and anticipates danger from all directions especially terrorism and a regime like the Islamic Republic which is a 24-karat radical regime and its words do not match its actions and does not take care of its own people B it=s not unlikely that America would use nuclear weapons but it has other ways too B from Kuwait, from other borders of Iran B but in my opinion, Mr. Ghaem-Maghami, the best way which I even recently heard from members of the Congress -- from those who recently reached this conclusion B is that military action will not help and the best way is to support the Iranian people, who have risen and do not accept this regime and continue with their resistance even with the heavy crackdowns from the regime. They believe, and so do others, that an alternative leadership needs to be found. If this is found, America will not need to take any military action. The regime with the creation of a powerful alternative leadership will be destroyed quickly and forced out of Iran
Q: Dr. Homayoun, previously we had agreed to talk about this alternative opposition leadership but given that this important Security Council meeting is on September 19 and on other hand, Ahmadinejad is coming to the U.N., let=s postpone that topic for a future discussion and return to this September 19th meeting. Just as you said, the Security Council=s decision is based on majority but in the last past, it was unanimous B it was asked from the Islamic Republic to cease its nuclear activities and shut down the facilities at Isfahan. The possibility of Islamic Republic=s record going before the Council -- even if not all of the 35 countries but with majority of them B exists. Do you believe that Islamic Republic will survive this meeting? Is there a chance that this time the Islamic Republic=s record will not go before the Security Council?
AH: With the help of the Europeans, it may be a possibility because they still want to make deals with the Islamic Republic.
Q: That is, Germany, France....
AH: Germany, France and even England
Q: That is, even though they are acting as if they are in agreement with the Islamic Republic=s record going before the Security Council and they are in negotiations, they themselves may delay this?
AH: There is a possibility that they will delay it and it would be acceptable to America, because the Islamic Republic has tried to give them incentives and behind-the-scenes meetings are intense, but in connection with India that you mentioned earlier, I doubt that it will go against the U.S., because India is wrapped up in its own issues. It has a pending nuclear agreement with the U.S. which must go for approval before the Congress and many are against this agreement, and if India goes against U.S., it may jeopardize the outcome of this pending agreement before the Congress, and India is in dire need of nuclear capability and wants to become a power. So it may back up the U.S. on Iran so that perhaps in the future, the U.S. would return the favor. Yes, I believe that they may delay it, but no matter what, the U.S. believes that the matter needs to go before the Security Council and Europe has shown that it too agrees with this, but I don=t trust the Europeans because they mostly care about their own welfare. They toy with the U.S. too and tell it that Iran will stop....
Q: Do you see a possibility that the Islamic Republic at the last minute will stop its own ambitions?
AH: The Islamic Republic, contrary to what it says, is afraid of world opinion and may reach dissimilation or political change. As I mentioned earlier, it is worried and doesn't want the world to view it as evil, but at the same token, it wants to continue with its nuclear activities. From what I see, the Islamic Republic will not under any circumstances stop its nuclear activities and the world cannot accept this for a radical and dangerous regime. For example, in foreign affairs, Ahmadinejad=s
20-year projection plan has been analyzed by my scholar friend
Dr. Vahedi. On one particular matter " foreign affairs "
Dr. Vahedi says that the Islamic Republic will never accept Israel and it will never have relations with the U.S. unless the U.S. accepts its twisted version of civil rights. That is, according to the Islamic Republic, U.S. needs to accept its nuclear capabilities, its twisted version of civil rights for Iran people, and its support of global terrorism. The gap between America and the Islamic Republic is too deep and the Islamic Republic has no choice but to stop its nuclear activities, because in today=s world, no government can survive when it has no vote of confidence by its own people and acts against the world=s acceptable behavior. The worst situation that can occur for a nation, Mr. Ghaem-Maghami, is incompetent leaders B leaders who are extreme ideologists like the current regime in Iran B they are the worst type of leaders because they are pro-radical Islam and generally a government is respected by the world when its own people respect it, when it has strong and wise leaders and is affluent B Islamic Republic has nothing, no plans; the only thing it talks about is how to make Iran more Islamic. And Ahmadinejad only talks of this B first, he wants to do God=s will B he cares nothing for the Iranian people; and then he wants to form a global Islamic government that abides by Islamic laws. All of these are against America=s plans as well as Europe's
which it too is beginning to understand the essence of this
Homayoun, __ Middle East Monitor announced today that Ahmadinejad has some difficulty in foreign investments. And Ahmadinejad promised to give more economic freedom to some people. Will he be able to keep such promises?
AH: He cannot because the first thing a country needs to do for progress is to give political freedom. Then after political freedom comes economic freedom. He has no solutions for Iran=s problems because what he says ... and those around him do not care for Iran; they mostly enjoy the crimes and tyranny of that regime and are with the intelligence services or revolutionary guards. The world does not trust Ahmadinejad and he has nothing to say before the U.N. and there is nothing that U.S. can do ... perhaps he will shake hands with the American Secretary of State, because even though Mr. Khatami was of the same mind, he knew how to be a middleman, but Ahmadinejad may shake Ms. Rice=s hand but it will not have any effect. He cannot make any economic changes for Iran unless he brings political freedom, and political freedom is dependent upon the fall of the Islamic Republic so that the control of the country goes to the people so they can decide what they want. Therefore, I cannot imagine, as Dr. Vahedi also said, Ahmadinejad will be able to do anything except to continue torturing and suppressing the people of Iran. And this may cause an explosion which we hope not, but it may.
Q: Mullah Mussah Ghorbani, a member of the Majority in Islamic Parliament, said that Ms. Rice has mistaken if she thinks she will greet Mr. Ahmadinejad. In connection with this, what was Ms. Rice's reaction?
AH: Americans and Europeans are basically civilized. Even if they are enemies, they greet and speak to one another and reach their goals in a civilized manner.
Q: So this was only a diplomatic gesture?
AH: Well, generally in the world of diplomacy, this type of behavior exists
(people shake hands) but in the past, there have been instances that the more radical politicians would turn the other way and not shake hands, but Ms. Rice is generally a polite lady and she may do this. But it does not mean that the situation has been resolved. The situation of Iran involves Islamic Republic which wants to continue with its policies on nuclear weapons, political oppression, civil rights abuses, and advancing radical Islam B I don=t see any changes in this.
Q: Some of our countrymen are worried, because the former U.S. Secretary of State Ms. Madeline Albright under President Clinton in her relations with Khatami did the same thing. Many fellow countrymen when they heard about this possible handshake became worried that there were changes in the American policy in connection with the Islamic Republic and Ahmadinejad.
AH: You see, a handshake and a hello does not mean that policies have changed. Mr. Clinton postponed his plans for an hour hoping to speak with Khatami, but of course, he was mistaken
( he made many mistakes. Ms. Rice is different from Ms. Albright. Ms. Albright is generally ultra-liberal and used to work with Mr. Brezensky [sp?] at the White House. But Ms. Rice is conservative
) not neo-conservative but a realist and of the same mind as President Bush, and believes that the Islamic Republic is evil. But diplomacy at this point requires a certain protocol and not for Mr. Bush=s previous comment to be repeated, but its opinion of the Islamic Republic has not changed because the Islamic Republic is unchangeable.
Q: Mr. Homayoun, I am very grateful and would like to reiterate to our listeners that in the very near future we will discuss the alternative leadership matter in our opposition efforts against the Islamic Republic? Thank you very much.
AH: Thank you and God bless.