Friday, June 17, 2005

Three things


Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani interview on BBC Newsnight, Wednesday. I heard some of this on World Service radio.

"It's possible that at times Iran has not reported its activities. But from the time Iran decided to make such reports, it has made everything transparent." (Agencies)

Asked whether the US was still the 'great Satan' and Britain the 'little Satan', he said that if they change their behaviour, they are no longer Satans. He mentioned three things: 'The US had lifted obstacles to Tehran's entry into the World Trade Organization, had given consent to carry out limited enrichment of uranium and had agreed to sell it plane parts.' (BBC website) These were only small things, of course, but they might be a beginning.

When Mr Rafsanjani says 'we've done this, we've come clean now', it calls to mind a Carnegie report of a couple of years ago, which stated that although he had no official position, he was probably still a major influence in determining Iran's nuclear strategy.

Mr Rafsanjani is said to be the front-runner in today's elections for president, but the reformist, Mostafa Moin, seems to have made a late surge in the opinion polls.

There is no sign of the US softening its rhetoric.

It has been a good week for Newsnight: I recorded Tuesday's interview with Donald Rumsfeld. One quote from the website, on Iraq: "A lot of bad things that could have happened have not happened."

Update: See also Greg's post here, on Iran.

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