Several months after Rouhani resigned at top nuclear negotiator for Iran’s regime, he gave a speech on how he duped the west during nuclear negotiations, keeping Iran’s nuclear program on track while avoiding referral to the UN Security Council and possible sanctions.
Rouhani’s speech was published in the fall of 2005 by Rahbord, a magazine distributed by the Center for Strategic Research.
The regime had failed to disclose its nuclear enrichment and reprocessing activities and in September 2003 faced referral to the UN Security Council for possible sanctions. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) demanded Iran fully disclose its nuclear program, agree to tougher inspections, and suspend enrichment of uranium.
Rouhani said as a meeting with Iran’s leaders that the regime faced a dilemma.
“The issue was whether providing a complete picture would alleviate the problem or not? he said. “The dilemma was if we offered a complete picture, the picture itself could lead us to the UN Security Council. And not providing a complete picture would also be a violation of the resolution and we could have been referred to the Security Council for not implementing the resolution.”
Rouhani said Iran agreed to the IAEA demands. But work was only suspended in areas where technical problems were not an issue and work continued in areas where technical problems persisted. By implementing this strategy, the regime was able to complete work on Isfahan, which converts yellow cake to UF4 and UB6.
Rouhani’s strategy was discussed in a news article by the Sunday Telegraph (March 5, 2006), titled, “How we duped the West, by Iran’s nuclear negotiator.”
“The man who for two years led Iran's nuclear negotiations has laid out in unprecedented detail how the regime took advantage of talks with Britain, France and Germany to forge ahead with its secret atomic programme,” the Sunday Telegraph said. “In a speech to a closed meeting of leading Islamic clerics and academics, Hassan Rowhani, who headed talks with the so-called EU3 until last year, revealed how Teheran played for time and tried to dupe the West after its secret nuclear programme was uncovered by the Iranian opposition in 2002.”
Rouhani completed his speech, stating “...I should tell you that we need some time to implement our capabilities. I mean if we could complete the fuel cycle and make it fait- accompli for the world, then the whole situation would be different."
During his election campaign for president, Rouhani took credit for implementing the strategy that deceived Western powers on Iran’s intention to continue its nuclear program. He said that, at the time, the political environment was different but “we managed to prevent any action against us while not giving up our rights.”
In his first press conference following his election victory, Rowhani rejected the notion of halting uranium enrichment, noting "That era is over with." (AFP, June 17, 2013)