Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani boasted on Iranian television in May that he had lied to the west and the world about complying with international agreements on its nuclear program, the Times of Israel reports.
Rouhani, like the other candidates carefully selected by Iran’s religious leaders, was facing questions from an interviewer on state television. He rejected a suggestion that, as Iran’s former nuclear negotiator, he had succumbed to the demands of the international community that he restrict uranium enrichment:
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!”
U.S. President Barack Obama has launched a new diplomatic initiative with Iran, one that is based on the belief that the ascent of the “moderate” Rouhani represents an opportunity for resolving the standoff over Iran’s nuclear program. However, evidence is mounting that Rouhani is a master of deception when it comes to dealing with western nuclear demands, and proud of his skill in saying one thing and doing another.