FT “interviews”:http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/a2466224-2824-11de-8dbf-00144feabdc0,dwp_uuid=be75219e-940a-11da-82ea-0000779e2340.html leading Iranian presidential candidate Mir-Hossein Moussavi:
You recently said you would pursue détente with the west if you were elected. How are you going to have that approach with the US while not compromising on the nuclear programme?
I consider détente the principle to build confidence between Iran and other countries. I think the recent discourse, which differentiates between nuclear technology and nuclear weapons is a good one. The more this differentiation is emphasised, the greater the possibility of détente.
Would Iran agree to suspend uranium enrichment if you were president?
No one in Iran would accept suspension.
And you would not accept it, either?
No. The problem is that we had a bad experience with suspension. It was first done [2003-2005] to discuss issues and remove suspicion but it turned into a tool to deprive Iran of having access to nuclear technology. There is a bad memory in this regard.
How would you remove tensions then?
Progress in nuclear technology and its peaceful use is the right of all countries and nations. This is what we have painfully achieved with our own efforts. No one will retreat. But we have to see what solutions or in other words what guarantees can be found to verify the non-diversion of the programme into nuclear weapons.
What kind of solutions?
They can be reached in technical negotiations.
How influential can the president be in nuclear decisions while the supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has the last say in this issue?
Decisions on nuclear technology definitely need to be based on a thorough consensus at the national level. Obviously, the role of the supreme leader is very determining.
So far, however, no solution has been found. How would your presidency help?
The issue doesn’t only depend on us. It will also depend on the discourse the Americans use and the issues they pursue. The more realistic they become and recognise Iran in this issue, naturally the better the ground will be prepared to find solutions.
Still working on that longer post.