What has transpired in nuclear talks between Iran and P5+1 of late and the stance adopted by those who attended the negotiations show that Iran and P5+1 do not want things to return where they were in the past, Chairman of the Expediency Council Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani told a host of entrepreneurs on Monday.
According to Ebtekar newspaper, Ayatollah Rafsanjani further said Iran’s conduct during the Iraqi-imposed war is proof that Tehran does not seek to develop nuclear weapons. “Islam does not allow Muslims to tap into scientific and technological advances to build weapons of mass destruction, including nuclear arms.”
That Iran is committed to international law is an established fact, Ayatollah Hashemi said, adding, “The Iranian nation views it as its inalienable right to use nuclear technology, just like other countries of the world, to develop and make progress.”
That hardliners interfere with the workings of the nation is regrettable, he stated, adding, “Just like in the past, radicals on both sides poisoned the atmosphere of the talks ahead of the most recent round of negotiations.”
The top councilor further said an economic boom is vital to Iranian efforts to reclaim its rightful place in the international community. “We should not allow the bright talent of Iranian youngsters and the rights of the Iranians to go to waste simply because a minority is not satisfied.”
In the speech, Ayatollah Hashemi stressed the need for the reformation of the culture of entrepreneurship in the country and said IRIB [Iran’s state broadcaster] plays an important role in this regard. “Reformation of the culture in question is not that difficult, because humans in different societies instinctively like endeavor and diligence.”
He went on to say, “If entrepreneurship, which is a source of pride in our society, had been taken more seriously, we wouldn’t have had to grapple with unemployment, rather we would have been a destination for migrants instead of witnessing a brain drain.”
Ayatollah Hashemi stated that allegations that some entrepreneurs are parasites amount to injustice to the establishment and the public and that entrepreneurship is sacred because by creating jobs entrepreneurs help protect human dignity.
He said failure of IRIB to pay attention to in-depth cultural and economic questions creates doubt among members of the public in general and the youth in particular, and added “[IRIB Officials] close their eyes to Koranic principles and place an unauthenticated handwritten statement which runs counter to public assumptions at the center of their arguments.
In response to complaints by some entrepreneurs, present at the meeting, about the country’s economic conditions, the former president recalled the early years after the end of the war and said, “We can join hands and generate reconstruction fervor in the country. After the end of the war a reconstruction wave swept across the nation, pushing unemployment from 16 percent into single digit.”
Ayatollah Rafsanjani further said, “If the previous government had not paralyzed the country’s foreign policy, exports of services would have brought in huge revenues today.”
As for a recent surge in terrorist activity in the region, he said IS is a product of the Taliban who were created by the West to first drive Soviet forces from Afghanistan and then create a headache for Iran. “It has now turned into a source of trouble for the West, which is trying to bomb the militant group into extinction. That is not the right approach because militants are hiding among people and the only way to take them out is through ground troops.”
Westerners have realized that Iran is a regional heavyweight, Ayatollah Hashemi Rafsanjani said, adding “The coalition to fight IS reached out to Iran because it knows that it cannot get rid of IS on its own.”
He expressed surprise at the unthinking comments by some aimed at Iran, and said ironically some consider support for resistance groups as promoting terrorism and support for terrorist entities such as hypocrites as defense of human rights.