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Thursday, October 29, 2015

Challenging Khamenei, Rafsanjani Reveals: We Had Nuclear Option In Iran-Iraq War.

Challenging Khamenei, Rafsanjani 'Fulfill Iran's Obligations Under The JCPOA' and Reveals: We Had Nuclear Option In Iran-Iraq War. (MEMRI).

On October 26, 2015, Hashemi Rafsanjani, the head of Iran's Expediency Council and the political rival of Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, gave a comprehensive interview to the website "Iranians' Nuclear Hope."[1] 

In the interview, he says that, during the Iran-Iraq war, Iran kept the nuclear option in case it felt threatened or required this option, but chose not to act in this direction.

Rafsanjani also personally comes out against Khamenei's directives regarding the JCPOA by calling on Rohani's government to meet Iran's obligations under this agreement from July 14, 2015. This is in direct defiance of Khamenei, who on October 21, 2015 ordered Rohani's government to delay meeting these obligations until nine new conditions he has added to the JCPOA have been met.[2]

Rafsanjani stresses in the interview that the majority of the Iranian people, some 80-90 percent, support the JPCOA as it was presented in July, thus creating a potential for fermenting a civil uprising against Khamenei.

Furthermore, Rafsanjani admits that both he and Khamenei were personally in charge of the development of Iran's secret nuclear program: he during his term as the Majlis speaker and later as president, and Khamenei during his presidency and later during his service as Supreme Leader.

In fact, Rafsanjani reveals that, during his presidency, he sought to develop the Arak heavy water facility, in the plutonium track, and invested resources in it, though at another point in the interview he rebuts domestic criticism by explaining that Iran's concessions regarding the Arak facility do not harm Iran's national interest since the main use of the plutonium track is "for military purposes."

By these statements Rafsanjani confirms suspicions that Iran tried to establish a military nuclear project.

By the very act of calling to meet Iran's commitments under the JCPOA and thereby gain international legitimacy for Iran's peaceful nuclear program, Rafsanjani exposes Khamenei as one who insists on the military nuclear option and challenges him to relinquish this option so as to let Iran take its rightful place in the international arena.

The following are translated excerpts from Rafsanjani's interview, read the full story here.

Related: Iran’s Arak nuclear reactor will be redesigned in accordance with the Supreme Leader’s guidelines.

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