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August 12, 2015

Iranians: U.S. Initiated and Began Nuclear Talks with Holocaust denier Ahmadinejad, not Rouhani

News media often report that U.S.-led negotiations with the Islamic Republic of Iran over its purported nuclear program were initiated by Tehran following increased international economic sanctions. Both journalists and President Obama himself—who announced on July 14, 2015 that talks concluded “after two years of negotiations”—have asserted or implied that negotiations began in 2013 after the election of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani. Rouhani is a regime-insider often misleadingly labeled a “moderate” despite his supervisory role in terrorist attacks in Argentina and political assassinations in Europe, as CAMERA has previously noted (“Iran Becoming Responsible Player,” July 8, 2015).

Yet, several high-level Iranian officials made assertions that—if true—would indicate that the often cited chronology of nuclear talks with Iran is mistaken. They claim the Obama administration secretly initiated contacts in 2011 through the government of Oman, following a letter from then-U.S. Senator John Kerry (D-Ma.) recognizing Iran’s “right” to enrich uranium. This would mean that talks began not with Rouhani’s administration but with the government of Holocaust denier and anti-Western extremist, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

According to a recent report from the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, delivered a June 23, 2015 speech proclaiming:

“This issue of negotiating with the Americans is related to the term of the previous [Ahmadinejad] government, and to the dispatching of a mediator to Tehran to request talks. At the time, a respected regional figure came to me as a mediator [referring to Omani Sultan Qaboos] and explicitly said that the U.S. President [Obama] had asked him to come to Tehran and present an American request for negotiations. The Americans told this mediator: ‘We want to solve that nuclear issue and lift sanctions within six months, while recognizing Iran as a nuclear power.’”

Hossein Sheikh Al-Islam, an advisor to Majils [the Iranian Parliament] Speaker Ali Larijani echoed the ayatollah’s version.

Larijani told Tasnim news agency on July 7 that Kerry had given a letter to Iran recognizing its right to enrich uranium. “We came to the [secret] negotiations [with the United States] after Kerry wrote a letter and sent it to us via Oman, stating that America officially recognizes Iran’s rights regarding the [nuclear fuel] enrichment cycle.”

“Sultan Qaboos was dispatched by Obama to Khamenei with Kerry’s letter…..On this basis the negotiations began, and not on the basis of sanctions, as they [the Americans] claim in their propaganda.”

More recently Iranian Vice President and head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization Ali Akbar Salehi, who served as foreign minister from 2010-2013, agreed with these accounts. Salehi stated that after entreaties through Omani officials, he put forward the precondition that the United States must recognize the right of Iran to enrich uranium—a demand which “received a positive response.” The former foreign minister claimed that Kerry “had already been appointed by Obama to handle the nuclear dossier [vis-à-vis Iran]” when he was acting as “head of the Senate Foreign Relations committee.”

MEMRI also notes that the ‘Nuclear Iran’ web site, affiliated with Iran’s former nuclear negotiation team, reported on Apr. 20, 2014: “Before the 2013 presidential elections, three rounds of talks took place in Oman, and at these talks the Americans officially recognized Iran’s [right] to enrich [uranium].” MEMRI reported that a relative of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Ahmad Khorshidi, told the website Entekhab in 2014 that three rounds of talks took place prior to President Rouhani taking office.

The full report by MEMRI on Iranian officials contradicting U.S. media and public officials can be found here.—Sean Durns

Posted by ER at August 12, 2015 03:40 PM

Comments

This squarely points the finger at Hillary Clnton, when she was Secretary of State, as being responsible for the start of this naive, dangerous situation.

Posted by: Rona at August 14, 2015 12:03 PM

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