Wikinews interviews Amir Abbas Fakhravar about Iranian nuclear intentions

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

File:Amir Philly 2.jpg

A file photo of Amir Abbas Fakhravar.
Image: Amir Abbas Fakhravar.
(Image missing from Commons: image; log)

Iran has been operating a nuclear program for years and announced opening a new uranium facility on Tuesday. Its claims over nuclear enrichment are for a nuclear power program, although this requires 5% enrichment as opposed to the 20% enrichment level they claim the right to pursue which is more commonly used in nuclear bombs.

Wikinews interviewed Amir Abbas Fakhravar, the President of the Iranian Freedom Institute which is based in Washington DC, United States, also a research fellow at the The Institute of World Politics, about the Iranian nuclear program in light of recent talks with this week with the P5+1 group of countries.

((Wikinews)) What is your role at the Iranian Freedom Institute?

Amir Abbas Fakhravar: I am the President and Founder of the Iranian Freedom Institute.

((WN)) Iran seems unwilling to give up its nuclear programme, do you think they will eventually given the UN [United Nations] sanctions?

AAF: The only way Islamic Regime in Iran will give up its nuclear program is either full operation and military attack by the West or total oil sanctions. 85–90% of the the Islamic Republic’s money comes from crude oil sales. This money does not go to the Iranian people, but instead funds the nuclear program, the Revolutionary Guards, basijis, Hezbollah, and other terror operations worldwide. The Islamic Republic will be forced into abandoning its nuclear program when oil sanctions dry up the money supply.
The Arak heavy water reactor nuclear facility in Arak, Iran.
Image: Nanking2012..

((WN)) Do you feel the Islamic Republic of Iran is trying to provoke a response from the Western nations (USA, UK, France, Germany)?

AAF: A limited military response from the West which will not be for a regime change would be a gift to the Islamic Republic, and would feed the narrative of “overreaching, imperialistic Western governments” perpetuated by the regime. The IR is well aware of the rapid decline in support from the Iranian people and is looking for a way to gain back some of that support, even superficially. An attack from the west would buoy the regime and damage the work being done by the opposition.

((WN)) What is the need for Iran to have a nuclear programme, are they doing it for energy or for weapons?

AAF: Iran makes clear its intentions for the nuclear program through its actions. The regime expresses desire to annihilate Israel almost daily, and has repeatedly refused negotiation and inspection of its nuclear sites. Also you can find several type of energies in Iran and at all they don't need to have this expensive and dangerous nuclear energy. For sure Islamic republic of Iran wants to have Nuclear bomb.

((WN)) If Iran does not listen and change course with regards to its nuclear program, do you think that the United Nations will apply more sanctions?

AAF: It took a very long time to sanction the Islamic Republic to the extent it is now, and since the UN continues to send negotiators to the table to discuss Iran’s nuclear program, tighter sanctions at this point in time are unlikely. It is our responsibility at Iranian opposition to inform United Nations about this regime's threat to international community. We should move much more organize[d] and faster to cut Islamic Republic's diplomatic relationship with the world. Our campaign on oil sanctions showed us it is possible.

((WN)) Do you think that the United States is particularly unhappy and international relations are poor considering that Iran recently captured a drone and refused to return it?

AAF: While a failure militarily and with regard to foreign policy, the captured drone incident is a relatively small event in the context of ongoing tensions between the United States and the Islamic Republic.


This exclusive interview features first-hand journalism by a Wikinews reporter. See the collaboration page for more details.