Two days ago, we covered the uproar that greeted Iran’s President Khatami at a recent university appearance (more: here.) MEMRI: The Middle East Media Research Institute, which “explores the Middle East through the region's media," now has a transcript from various coverage of the event, and offers links to video as well, though I couldn't get them to work. Note that when Khatami refers to nukes, he says,
"The way we have dealt with the nuclear issue has removed a grave danger that threatened Iran. If we had not acted in an intelligent and calculated manner, we would have faced problems now."Does he mean that he successfully used diplomatic means to stave off an attack? Given the university outburst, no wonder the mullahs want to shut down blogs and other internet traffic. (See last post below). Perhaps Khatami was unable to implement any reforms because hardliners rigged the legislative elections. Here's yet another analysis stating that Iran has bought itself time to further its nuke program via diplomacy. Iran fully intends to resume its uranium enrichment in the future. Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi said as much in October, 2003, before complying with European demands at the time:
"We suspended uranium enrichment voluntarily and temporarily. Later, when our relations with the I.A.E.A. return to normal, we will definitely resume enrichment." Early in 2004, Kharrazi continued this line, arguing that "it’s our legitimate right to enrich uranium."Iran has repeatedly stated to its own populace that the rationale for its nuclear weapons program is to deter foreign aggressors. But perhaps a better way of explaining their zeal exists. Perhaps the mullahs know that with a little foreign encouragement, their populace would rebel against them.