The subject of Iran and its pursuit of nuclear arms has been a political football throughout the debates with a lot of touch talk not only from the Republicans but also from President Obama. One side claims Iran is four years closer to a nuclear weapon while the other side says sanctions are working and Iran is nowhere near having nuclear weapons capabilities. But what does Iran say about the matter?
There could be no better source for what is going on inside of Iran than the Fars News Agency. FNA is Iran’s leading independent news agency and reports in Persian and English. Consider a report from FNA about the thoughts of President Obama and the attitude Iran has toward our “tough” sanctions.
Livia Leu Agosti, the Swiss Ambassador to Tehran recently attended a meeting with senior Iranian foreign ministry officials to submit a letter from the US president to Tehran leaders.
Vice-Chairman of the Iranian Parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Commission Hossein Ebrahimi told FNA that during the meeting, Agosti had told the Iranian officials that President Barack Obama recognizes Iran’s right of access and use of the nuclear technology.
“There are a couple of points with regard to this (US) message (to Iran),” Ebrahimi said and added, “Firstly, during the session to submit the message, the Swiss ambassador to Tehran quoted the US president as saying that ‘we (the US) recognize your nuclear rights’.”
As regards the second issue, the lawmaker said that the Swiss diplomat had also quoted Obama as saying that “I didn’t want to impose sanctions on your central bank but I had no options but to approve it since a Congress majority had approved the decision.”
Iran’s Foreign Ministry Spokesman Ramin Mehman-Parast said on Sunday that Iran has received a US message regarding the Strait of Hormoz via three different channels. “The US Ambassador to the UN Susan Rice had handed a letter to Iran’s Ambassador to the UN Mohammad Khazayee; the Swiss Ambassador to Tehran (Livia Leu Agosti) also conveyed the same thing; and Iraqi President Jalal Talabani delivered the same message to Iranian officials,” he said last Sunday.
The US letter follows threats by Iran last month to shut off the Strait of Hormoz – the world’s most important oil shipping lane – if new US and EU sanctions over its nuclear program halted Iranian oil exports. At that time the United States said it would not allow Iran to block the Strait, calling it a “red line” for the US military.
In reply, Lieutenant Commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Brigadier General Hossein Salami dismissed the US warning over the closure of the strategic strait, and stressed that powerful Iran acts on its own and never asks for anyone’s permission to carry out what it desires.
“The US is not in a position” to affect Iran’s decisions, Salami told FNA late in December. “Iran does not ask permission to implement its own defensive strategies.”
Meantime, US Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman General Martin Dempsey acknowledged that Iran is able to close the Strait of Hormuz. “They’ve invested in capabilities that could, in fact, for a period of time block the Strait of Hormoz,” Dempsey said in an interview aired on the CBS “Face the Nation” program.