President Rouhani’s comments that our ideals are not tied to centrifuges have drawn a strong reaction from principlists. Seyyed Reza Akrami, a statesman, in a political note in Mardom-e Emrooz daily on January 6, sought to clarify the president’s comments made at a conference on Iran’s economy on Sunday. The following is a partial translation of the note that originally appeared under the heading Interaction is Our Ideal:
With regard to the president’s comments Sunday that “Our ideals are not tied to centrifuges,” three points need to be mentioned to shed light on what the president meant.
First, we live in a country whose vastness, strategic position, resources and diverse climatic conditions make it unique. We have 14 neighbors including Russia, Pakistan, Iraq and countries on the Persian Gulf. That lends added importance to our strategic position.
Second, we are a country of 80 million. That a large percentage of our population is young gives us a big advantage.
Third, we staged a revolution almost 36 years ago. Since the very beginning our motto has been Independence, Freedom and Islamic Republic. That means we want to lead a dignified, reputable life in the world. […]
I believe the important statement the president made in his speech was that we have diverse talents, but unfortunately they remain mostly untapped. The president said not everything in the country should be tied to enrichment and centrifuges.
Instead, detailed planning on the basis of resistance-based economy and firm resolve are needed to help these talents blossom. He meant we shouldn’t remain fixated on a single technology like nuclear centrifuges. […]
He believes our independence does not merely hinge on nuclear technology. We managed to enrich uranium when we were under sanctions. That shows we can forge ahead even when limitations are in place.
Failure of other countries to supply spare parts to our aviation industry won’t ground our air fleet; keeping oil prices low won’t cripple our economy; slapping technological restrictions on us won’t spell an end to our enrichment capability.
In the toughest of conditions, we have proved that we can master uranium enrichment, a technology only a handful of countries have developed.
However, since we seek to interact with the rest of the world, we agreed to replace 20 percent enrichment with 5 percent enrichment. We accepted supervisions beyond what is stipulated in the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.
Those measures were simply designed not to provide an excuse to those who sought an excuse to accuse us of seeking to develop nuclear bombs. Interaction with the world under the banner of the Islamic Republic is an ideal of ours. We don’t have to limit ourselves to one technology.
I believe Independence, Freedom and Islamic Republic remain our ideals that have nothing to do with nuclear talks which in turn are not linked to these mottos. That we want to be independent, lead a dignified life, remain free under the banner of the Islamic Republic and interact with countries in the world is our ideal.