About Us






Thursday, January 17, 2013
Former Iranian foreign ministry employee: Do not be fooled, Iran wants the bomb

Don’t be fooled: Iran wants the bomb
The Times of Israel January 17, 2013, 12:40 am

Iran’s top nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili recently said his country has
agreed to resume talks on its nuclear program later this month. At the same
time, the IAEA and the international community, particularly the European
countries, have stepped up efforts to revitalize the futile negotiating
process. Meanwhile, Tehran is flexing its muscles by holding naval drills in
the Strait of Hormuz and all across its southern coasts, while occasionally
threatening to close the strategically critical waterway if necessary.

It was almost a decade ago that the People’s Mujahedin, Iran’s leftist
opposition in exile, first revealed the clandestine nuclear activities
carried out by the regime, providing the exact addresses of some of the
facilities, and letting the world know about the Islamic theocracy’s true
ambitions for acquiring nuclear bombs. Since then, Iran has attended dozens
of negotiating rounds merely to convince naïve politicians and dewy-eyed
peaceniks that it is telling the truth. Within this context, Tehran
maintains that it is trying to use diplomatic means to prove that Iran is
merely working to harness nuclear energy for peaceful purposes in order to
meet increasing domestic energy demand as it runs out of fuel. Iran likewise
exploits the matter at home, whipping up populist nationalism with
leftist-style demagoguery that depicts its nuclear program as a cardinal
matter of national pride.

But a lie remains a lie, whether it is repeated ceaselessly in international
forums or broadcast all day to the Iranian masses. As a former employee of
the Iranian foreign ministry, I served as interpreter for visiting
dignitaries, diplomats and officials. I paid close attention to public
proclamations and official statements. And I was present at inner-circle
conversations in which a number of high-profile Iranian officials made no
secret of their intention to go atomic. I personally witnessed the following

Former Revolutionary Guards commander: ‘Holy Islamic bomb is a must’

In April 2005, after organizing several meetings in his office at the
Discernment Council headquarters, I was invited to a meeting at the home of
Mohsen Rezai, the Secretary of the Expediency Discernment Council and a
former commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) during the
Iran-Iraq war. I was invited in my capacity as a founding member of of the
short-lived Islamic Association for Students and Academicians (IASA, which
was dissolved the next year), together with Ruhollah Solgi, the IASA
secretary general. (Today, Solgi is the governor of Aran va Bidgol County in
the Isfahan region.) We were asked to come and exchange views on the overall
situation on the upcoming presidential election campaign in which Mr. Rezai
was preparing to run as a presidential nominee.

Rezai’s home was located in the Shahrak Shahid Daghayeghi Complex at the
outskirts of the Lavizan forests in northeast Tehran. We went to a spacious,
concrete villa on the last block of the fenced in and tightly patrolled
neighborhood, which provides housing primarily for IRGC officers and other
high-profile officials.

When we arrived, Rezai was busy meeting various military and political
figures, including generals from the IRGC. At this private meeting in his
house, while castigating former reformist president Khatami for his
compromising approach towards the West, Mohsen Rezai strongly advocated the
idea of acquiring nuclear bombs for “deterrent purposes.” He referred to
such a weapon as a “holy Islamic bomb” needed to defy the bullying approach
of global arrogance. Mentioning that even Khomeini approved of acquiring an
atomic bomb to safeguard the interests of Islam during Iran-Iraq war, he
argued that everything is allowed for the sake of Islam, including using
WMDs and the mass killing of civilians.

The A-bomb and Iran’s National Security Council

In early 2012, Ali Bagheri, the deputy secretary of Iran’s Supreme National
Security Council, was meeting his Indian counterpart at a dinner reception
at India’s embassy in Tehran. While we waited for the Indian official, who
had been delayed in traffic, to arrive, I heard the Iranian foreign ministry’s
director for Europe and America, Ahmad Sobhani, ask Mr. Bagheri about the
Supreme Leader’s latest views on the 5+1 negotiations. Bagheri replied that
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei remained adamant and increasingly convinced that “we
should expedite our efforts and diversify our secret facilities to achieve
our goal before it is too late.”

North Korea’s contribution

In early February 2012, I was present at a confidential meeting at which
Iran’s deputy head of the Islamic Revolution Mostazafan Foundation was
negotiating with the North Korean ambassador in order to obtain nuclear
technology for Iran in exchange for financial support.

The chemical weapons precedent

In my foreign ministry position, I interpreted at meetings between my
country and international chemical weapons inspectors. The Iranian side,
known as the Escort Team, included officials from the Foreign Ministry,
Ministry of Intelligence, Ministry of Defense, Ministry of Industry. They
met with representatives from the Hague-based chemical weapons watchdog, the
Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, known as Inspection

I was present throughout these encounters, which included a Pre-Inspection
Briefing prepared for the visitors by Iran, on-site visits at chemical
production plants, and summation deliberations and conclusions.

I witnessed Iranian involvement in the mass production of chemical weapons
at a variety of installations including Pakshooma, Arak Petrochemical
Complex and in particular the Shahid Meisami Complex located in the city of
Karaj, which were designated as producers of chemical material for civilian
use, such as detergents, but were also producing chemical weapons for the
Defense Industries Organization, which is affiliated with the Ministry of

From an official Iranian presentation for the Pre-Inspection Briefing for
the Pakshoo Chemical Co., September 2010 (scan: Ahmad Hashemi)

I interpreted as the Iranian defense officials misinformed and deceived the
inspectors. With such a history of producing weapons of mass destruction in
the form of chemical weapons, why should anyone believe that Iran is not
intent on producing an atomic bomb?

Another futile round of talks

All previous meetings between Iran and the 5+1 failed because Iran was never
serious about curbing its nuclear programs. After seven years, the West and
particularly the Obama administration are still hopeful that they can
achieve progress through negotiations. Tehran may have slowed down
tactically, but undoubtedly, as the former commander of Iran’s revolutionary
guards Mohsen Rezai once said, “Iran’s long-term policy and strategic vision
is to acquire a holy Islamic atomic bomb.”

Only a real and result-oriented negotiation with a specific agenda with the
Ayatollahs, smarter economic sanctions, more unified diplomatic isolation
around Iran, and actual support for the demands of the Iranian people may
bring real change.

Using a well-known concept in Shiite jurisprudence known as the expedient or
altruistic lie, Iranian officials are perfectly willing to lie when it comes
to their intentions and programs. The enlightened nations would do well to
understand the religious underpinnings of Iranian diplomats’ big lies in
contrast with European negotiators. Once the extent of the deception is
understood, the question should be not whether Iran’s nuclear program is
peaceful but rather when and how the program can be safely terminated.

Ahmad Hashemi, was born in Qom in 1977. He earned a Bachelor’s Degree in
Political Science at the University of Tehran and has a Master’s Degree in
American Studies from the Iranian Foreign Ministry’s School of International
Relations. In January 2008, he joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as an
English, Turkish and occasionally Arabic interpreter. When the popular
uprising began in 2009, he was actively involved in the pro-democracy Green
Movement protests. For this and other reasons, he was summoned and dismissed
from his job in May 2012. From early May 2012, he began to contribute
articles for the leading reformist dailies such as Shargh and Etemaad
newspapers. Because of his classified information with regard to some of the
regime’s proliferation programs, Ahmad Hashemi says he was subject to
constant threats, mental torture and restrictions. He fled his country and
currently is seeking political asylum in Turkey. In his work a writer and
freelance journalist, he contributes to Persian language and international

Search For An Article

Contact Us

POB 982 Kfar Sava
Tel 972-9-7604719
Fax 972-3-7255730
email:imra@netvision.net.il IMRA is now also on Twitter

image004.jpg (8687 bytes)