Rouhani: Hey, that was pretty slick how I fooled the West in 2003, huh?

posted at 5:21 pm on October 8, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

With the White House pursuing rapprochement with Iran through personal diplomacy, Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu has pressed Barack Obama not to let Hassan Rouhani fool America … again, as it turns out.   The Times of Israel plays this interview with Rouhani on Iranian television less than two weeks before finally taking Obamas’ phone call, in which the Iranian president brags about how he fooled the West until their nuclear program got exposed in 2003 — and even afterward (via Scott Johnson at Power Line):

In a video clip now gaining fresh attention as the international community seeks to assess his credibility, Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani bragged on Iranian state television just four months ago that he and the regime utterly flouted a 2003 agreement with the IAEA in which it promised to suspend all uranium enrichment and certain other nuclear activities.

Rouhani, who was being interviewed by Iran’s state IRIB TV (Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting) on May 27, less than three weeks before he won the June 14 presidential elections, was provoked by the interviewer’s assertion that, as Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator in 2003-5, “everything was suspended” on the nuclear program under his watch.

Smiling but evidently highly irritated by the suggestion, Rouhani called it “a lie” that only “the illiterate” would believe, and said that “whoever is talking to you in your earpiece” was feeding false information. He proceeded to detail how Iran, in fact, had flagrantly breached the October 2003 “Tehran Declaration,” which he said “was supposed to outline how everything should be suspended.”

Although Iran issued a joint statement with visiting EU ministers in October 2003 setting out its pledged obligations under the Tehran Declaration, in practice, Rouhani said in the interview, “We did not let that happen!”

Jeffrey Goldberg also took a look at the video, and warns the White House that they had better pay attention to what leaders tell their own people:

n the mid-1990s, Yasser Arafat, who was then the leader of the Palestinian Authority, began giving speeches (and sermons) about the Middle East peace process, which was then progressing in earnest. There were doubts about Arafat’s willingness to compromise with Israel, a nation he had long terrorized, but he appeared to be fully engaged in negotiations, and Israel’s suspicious leaders appeared to have overcome many of their misgivings.

In these sermons and discussions, however, Arafat began making reference to the Treaty of Hudaybiyyah, which, Muslim tradition tells us, the Prophet Muhammad had signed with a rival tribe called the Quraysh out of tactical necessity. Two years later, by most accounts, a stronger Muhammad, citing a violation by the Quraysh as pretext, saw to it that the treaty was dissolved. He then defeated his enemy. Arafat appeared to be signaling to Muslim audiences that even if the Palestinians came to an agreement, they shouldn’t fear, because an agreement with Israel wouldn’t last forever.

Optimists — including me — dismissed Arafat’s invocation of the treaty as an example of a frightened politician playing to his base. The pessimists — those who said this reference, among others, proved that Arafat was already devising an exit strategy from a still-theoretical (and ultimately unrealized) peace treaty — were right.

The lesson of this sad episode was to listen more carefully to what leaders actually say.

Rouhani, in the interview, was in the midst of a presidential campaign and getting pressured from his right. So it’s possible that he reacted defensively in the heat of the moment. But consider this statement, which he wrote in 2011: “While we were talking to the Europeans in Tehran, we were installing equipment in Isfahan.”

These are not the words of someone who wants to end Iran’s nuclear program. Taken together, Rouhani’s statements sound like those of a man who is proud of the program and believes he may have devised a way to carry it to completion: By speaking softly, smiling and spinning the centrifuges all the while.

The past in this case is not just prologue, but a framework for understanding the present. Rouhani scoffed at the notion that Iran would comply with a treaty to which it was a signatory in 2003. What makes 2013 any different, especially with Rouhani indignantly proclaiming his defiance for domestic consumption?


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Once again, according to the latest NEI Iran hasn’t made the decision to pursue a nuclear weapon

The United States’ intelligence community’s judgments on Iran’s nuclear program have not fundamentally changed from those revealed in its controversial 2007 National Intelligence Estimate. In presenting the intelligence community’s annual “Worldwide Threat Assessment” to the Senate Committee on Intelligence on January 31, Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper used language identical to that used in recent years on a number of critical points:

We continue to assess Iran is keeping open the option to develop nuclear weapons in part by developing various nuclear capabilities that better position it to produce such weapons, should it choose to do so. We do not know, however, if Iran will eventually decide to build nuclear weapons.

Iran has the scientific, technical, and industrial capacity to eventually produce nuclear weapons, making the central issue its political will to do so. These [technical] advancements contribute to our judgment that Iran is technically capable of producing enough highly enriched uranium for a weapon, if it so chooses.

We judge Iran’s nuclear decision making is guided by a cost-benefit approach, which offers the international community opportunities to influence Tehran.

http://intelligence.senate.gov/120131/clapper.pdf

Warmongers weep!!! According to this report, they have the industrial capacity and the technical know how to produce a weapon. For the last two decades you all have claimed that Iran is on the cusp of a nuclear weapon. Where are the nukes. If they are so eager to wipe Israel off the face of the map, why haven’t they produced a nuke? The Hot Air staff need to hit the books and not assume they know everything.

antifederalist on October 8, 2013 at 5:31 PM

Amazing. He doesn’t even try to pretend, to use weasel words.

And remember, this is the more sensible leader.

SteveMG on October 8, 2013 at 5:31 PM

Obama stands by alleged anti-nuke fatwa in Iran

President Obama’s claim that Iran is disposed toward ending its nuclear standoff because of a legal pronouncement by its leader may be a hoax, according to a Middle East research group.

Some critics warn that Iran’s offer to hold talks over its nuclear program is a ruse, to stall for time while it finishes up the fuel enrichment process for an atomic bomb. Others say Iran is also hoping to halt attempts by Congress to strengthen U.S. economic sanctions.

But President Obama welcomed Iranian President Hasan Rouhani’s promise not to seek nuclear weapons and told reporters the negotiation offer was worth pursuing.

“I do believe that there is a basis for a resolution (because) Iran’s supreme leader has issued a fatwa against the development of nuclear weapons,” Obama told reporters.

But a Washington-based Middle East research group says there is no evidence such an edict exists.

“An exhaustive search of the various official websites of Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei turned up no such fatwa, either on his fatwa website or on his personal website,” according to the Middle East Media Research Institute, which tracks and translates news and official reports from the region.

hepcat on October 8, 2013 at 5:36 PM

According to this report, they have the industrial capacity and the technical know how to produce a weapon.

Amazing. The report says that they NOW have the ability to make nuclear weapons and our friend antifederalist thinks this is evidence that they don’t want to build weapons.

Why would they go through all of this – the enrichment, the building of extra facilities – if they didn’t want to have that ability?

SteveMG on October 8, 2013 at 5:40 PM

The sanctions are choking the country and anything to get them lifted is fair game for this bunch of conniving bastards. Everyone in the country hates the Israelis maybe not to the same degree, but how do you measure hate?

Obama is a rank amateur in foreign policy and will fall for anything to show he is “making progress”. The “friendly” Arab countries in the ME know this. They are building alternate pipelines through the UAE and Oman because soon they know there will be a blow up in Iran.

We cannot trust the Iranians, but of course the panty waste president will piss all over his leg to appease them.

hip shot on October 8, 2013 at 5:44 PM

What makes 2013 any different, especially with Rouhani indignantly proclaiming his defiance for domestic consumption?

A childish chump in the White House?

oldleprechaun on October 8, 2013 at 5:45 PM

Amazing. The report says that they NOW have the ability to make nuclear weapons and our friend antifederalist thinks this is evidence that they don’t want to build weapons.
Why would they go through all of this – the enrichment, the building of extra facilities – if they didn’t want to have that ability?
SteveMG on October 8, 2013 at 5:40 PM

The report also stated that they have not made a decision to build one. Most of you believe that Iran is run by mad mullahs. Mad mullahs don’t conduct cost/benefit analyses in order to justify a policy of national suicide.

Iran is permitted to enrich up to 19.999% by the NPT. Is there any credible source that has evidence that they have enriched beyond this point?

antifederalist on October 8, 2013 at 5:46 PM

War is deceit

– Muhammad.

Obama is a straight-up traitor. It’s that simple. And our government is entirely populated by thieves, incompetents, and collaborators.

Flush them all down the toilet. With extreme prejudice.

WhatSlushfund on October 8, 2013 at 5:50 PM

War is deceit

– Muhammad.
Obama is a straight-up traitor. It’s that simple. And our government is entirely populated by thieves, incompetents, and collaborators.

WhatSlushfund on October 8, 2013 at 5:50 PM

Funny, I thought Dick Chaney came up with that quote.

I wouldn’t consider Obama a traitor. A traitor is a person who would send his countrymen out to kill, be kill, maim, get maimed in a war based on lies.

antifederalist on October 8, 2013 at 5:55 PM

AF, anything Obama says is lies so logically he is a traitor. His lies have been proved many times over.

hip shot on October 8, 2013 at 6:02 PM

AF, anything Obama says is lies so logically he is a traitor. His lies have been proved many times over.
hip shot on October 8, 2013 at 6:02 PM

Obama lies along with 99%-100% of all politicians.

antifederalist on October 8, 2013 at 6:04 PM

Obama lies along with 99%-100% of all politicians.

Except apparently Iranian politicians.

For them we can take their word.

SteveMG on October 8, 2013 at 6:06 PM

Except apparently Iranian politicians.
For them we can take their word.
SteveMG on October 8, 2013 at 6:06 PM

Not at all. All that’s required is to analyze the facts.

1. Iran has no nuclear weapons
2. Iran is not a 1st world industrial power (despite what Jennifer Ruin and William Kristol would have you believe)
3. Iran is a 3rd country that can’t make enough gas for itself.
4. Iran hasn’t invaded another country since 1798.
5. Iran has no ICBMs that can reach the US
6. Iran is a 3rd rate military power

Based on these facts all of the alarmism over Iran is unwarranted.

antifederalist on October 8, 2013 at 6:18 PM

I think the Arabic translation of Rouhani is “Roadrunner”. Perhaps one of our illustrious White House Press Corps members would like to ask His Hine-ness how much he enjoys playing the part of “Wile E. Coyote.”

ExpressoBold on October 8, 2013 at 6:23 PM

antifederalist on October 8, 2013 at 5:31 PM

You have zero credibility, since you openly support a regime that brutalizes their own people. The Mullahs lie and you swear to it.

dogsoldier on October 8, 2013 at 6:25 PM

Based on these facts all of the alarmism over Iran is unwarranted.

antifederalist on October 8, 2013 at 6:18 PM

Amazingly stupid.

Regarding 4 on your list, they invaded US territory in November of 1979.

dogsoldier on October 8, 2013 at 6:27 PM

antifederalist on October 8, 2013 at 6:18 PM

Regarding 5 they don’t need an ICBM, actually, and they would probably use their first weapon on Israel.

dogsoldier on October 8, 2013 at 6:30 PM

You have zero credibility, since you openly support a regime that brutalizes their own people. The Mullahs lie and you swear to it.
dogsoldier on October 8, 2013 at 6:25 PM

If supporting regimes that brutalizes its citizens is a standard for credibility then the Federal government is in negative territory. The US government has supported

1. Shah of Iran
2. Saddam Hussein
3. Hosni Mubarak
4. Agusto Pinochet

And many others.

antifederalist on October 8, 2013 at 6:30 PM

Regarding 5 they don’t need an ICBM, actually, and they would probably use their first weapon on Israel.
dogsoldier on October 8, 2013 at 6:30 PM

What weapon. You mean the ones you all have been claiming they are on the verge of for the last 20 years?

antifederalist on October 8, 2013 at 6:31 PM

blink on October 8, 2013 at 6:28 PM

I don’t think this person is an isolationist. He or she is a serious supporter of the Iranian regime. They keep trying to say they are not a threat.

dogsoldier on October 8, 2013 at 6:33 PM

Amazingly stupid.
Regarding 4 on your list, they invaded US territory in November of 1979.
dogsoldier on October 8, 2013 at 6:27 PM

I knew someone here would come out and say that they invaded the embassy. The US embassies throughout the world are not my country. And when invaded the US embassy, somehow the 225 millions citizens in the US were in no danger of being conquered.

antifederalist on October 8, 2013 at 6:35 PM

Obama probably figures that since he always lies to his people, Rouhani also always lies to his people, too.

exhelodrvr on October 8, 2013 at 6:47 PM

Taqiyya, look it up.

anikol on October 8, 2013 at 6:55 PM

Amazingly stupid.
Regarding 4 on your list, they invaded US territory in November of 1979.
dogsoldier on October 8, 2013 at 6:27 PM

I knew someone here would come out and say that they invaded the embassy. The US embassies throughout the world are not my country. And when invaded the US embassy, somehow the 225 millions citizens in the US were in no danger of being conquered.

antifederalist on October 8, 2013 at 6:35 PM

Sounds like a Ron Paulish isolationist. Embassies aren’t our country, Iran is far away, if we’re not about to get invaded then there is no threat, etc.

Exactly the kind of gullible fool that ignores all threats until they are nearly unstoppable, and gets a whole lot of people hurt or killed while we desperately try to make up ground.

The world is a dangerous place. Burying your head in the sand — or in Ron Paul’s assurances — makes it more dangerous.

There Goes the Neighborhood on October 8, 2013 at 7:12 PM

Old News Me Thinks:

MeanWhile,sumpin doesn’t square:

Iran President Gives Reporter History Lesson He’ll Never Forget (English Translation)
*********************
.

Like his predecessor Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Iran’s new president Hassan Rouhani made a number of prolific performances whereby he was catalyzed into an underdog position. Monitor Mideast translated one of such interviews exclusively into English. Rouhani is seen questioning the IRIB reporter on basis of long-held myths regarding Hassan Rouhani’s track record as a nuclear negotiator.
===================

Added: 2 days ago Occurred On: Sep-16-2013

http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=d49_1379350808&comments=1

canopfor on September 18, 2013 at 10:09 PM

canopfor on October 8, 2013 at 7:39 PM

New Bill in Congress Will Authorize War With Iran
Posted By John Hudson
Tuesday, October 8, 2013 – 7:20 PM
***********************************

A new bill authorizing a U.S. military strike against Iran is set to drop in Congress on Thursday — just days after leaders in Washington and Tehran began talking openly after three decades of silence.

The bill, sponsored by Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ), is currently being shopped around to various House offices this week in search of a co-sponsor, The Cable has learned. Besides providing President Obama with “all options” to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapons capability, the bill ticks off a list of grievances with the Islamic state dating back 30 years on everything from verbal threats to nuclear enrichment violations.

“Since at least the late 1980s, Iran has engaged in a sustained and well-documented pattern of illicit and deceptive activities to acquire a nuclear weapons capability and has provided weapons, training, funding, and direction to terrorist groups,” reads the bill.

The hawkish legislation, which essentially hands the president the full-force of the U.S. military if negotiations fail, comes just one week before Tehran sits down with six major powers in Geneva to discuss its nuclear program. For some foreign policy observers on the Hill, it threatens to spoil the already-delicate negotiations.

“It’s hard to imagine a more counterproductive effort to slow the development of Iran’s nuclear program – especially when sanctions have succeeded in bringing the Iranians back to the negotiating table,” a Congressional aide tells The Cable. “This attempt to legislate the use of force in Iran is so far out of the mainstream that it makes Netanyahu look like a bleeding heart peacenik in comparison.”

Rebuffing critics, Franks insists now is the perfect time to hand Obama the keys to the military. “There’s never been a more important time to make sure that any negotiations are backed up by a credible military capability,” he told The Cable. “Iran has watched the United States allow redline after redline pass and has played rope-a-dope with the United States to the extent that they’re on the cusp of being able to become a nuclear armed nation in potentially months.”

Ahead of next week’s talks, Iran’s newly-elected President Hassan Rouhani has made a series of friendly overtures with the West, including everything from pledging to never develop nuclear weapons to writing Obama letters to mentioning Israel by name — all of which culminated in a historic phone call with President Obama last month. But no one thinks coming to an agreement on Iran’s nuclear program is going to be easy.

To begin the talks, the U.S. would like Iran to respond to a previous proposal by world powers for Iran to halt its enrichment of uranium to 20 percent, remove stockpiles and close down an enrichment facility. But on Sunday, Iran’s Foreign Minister Javad Zarid told Iranian state television the big states — known as the “P5+1″ in diplo-speak — need to come up with a new offer. “The previous P5+1 plan given to Iran belongs to history and they must enter talks with a new point of view,” he said.

Franks argues that hanging an axe over the head of the Iranian regime would boost the president’s negotiating hand. The congressman isn’t alone. Although his bill will be the first to hit Congress, Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) told reporters last month that he’s also preparing legislation that would give Obama a green light to attack Iran if negotiations fail.

Unlike Graham, Franks did not support the president’s request for a limited military strike in Syria this summer — a fact that has some wondering why he’s open to an intervention in Iran, which could be much more complex.

“It’s true that chemical weapons in Syria could potentially pose some national security threat to the United States,” he said. “But a nuclear-armed Iran could pose a profound threat to U.S. national security.”

Of course, although Congress is the most hawkish branch of government when it comes to Iran, the chances of such a resolution passing are slim — something Franks seems to acknowledge. “Even if the bill simply refocuses America’s attention on the real danger in the Middle East, Iran, it will have accomplished a profound purpose,” he said.

Others see it less favorably. “Asides from a few knuckle dragging tea party types, there’s simply no appetite in Congress for giving the President authority to launch strikes in Iran,” said the congressional aide, “particularly after most of congressional Republicans rebuffed his attempts for similar authority in Syria.”

You can read Franks’s resolution and his appeal to colleagues below:

FranxUS-Iran Nuclear Negotiations Act – FRANKS

http://thecable.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2013/10/08/new_bill_in_congress_will_authorize_war_with_iran_days_before_nuke_talks

canopfor on October 8, 2013 at 8:46 PM

A holy man lying.
What’s this world coming to?

TimBuk3 on October 8, 2013 at 10:06 PM

The thing that you are saying is false, no, I am a much better liar than that. How dare you underestimate my capacity for lying. Why you little whippersnapper, I’ve been lying before you were born. I lie on a national level to other national leaders about global concerns, and I am very good at it. Praise Allah.

bour3 on October 8, 2013 at 11:08 PM

How the hell do trolls get in on this site? Is this by design of some sort, each time one vanished 2 more pop up.

riddick on October 9, 2013 at 2:18 AM

A holy man lying.
What’s this world coming to?

TimBuk3 on October 8, 2013 at 10:06 PM

This is what Quran teaches. Lie, steal, rape , pillage, all in the name of “religion”.

riddick on October 9, 2013 at 2:20 AM