Latest on the Race: Jalili on the Issues

May 15, 2013
      Chief nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili is a major conservative candidate for Iran’s presidency. The secretary of the Supreme National Security Council seems to share the supreme leader’s hardline outlook on all key issues. The following are excerpts from various interviews, public remarks and campaign materials.
 
 
Nuclear Energy Program
            “We are against the proliferation of nuclear weapons. The serious question today is which country has supplied Israel with nuclear arms. This is a serious question that needs to be addressed internationally.” February 4, 2013 at a press conference in Damascus
            “Uranium enrichment is one of these rights that every individual member state [of the Non-Proliferation Treaty] should benefit from and enjoy for peaceful purposes... Talks should be based on confidence-building measures, which would build the confidence of Iranians.” April 14, 2012 at a press conference in Istanbul after negotiations
            “The strategy of pressure is wrong and could not bring any results.” February 2013 in an interview with The Christian Science Monitor
            “The IAEA [U.N. nuclear watchdog] said they didn't find one document showing any diversion from our peaceful program. Some of the great powers know this and they have made clear that they didn't want confidence building - they just want to deprive Iran of its inalienable rights.” December 18, 2006 in an interview with the Boston Globe
            “We believe that the right to enrich is an inalienable right of the Iranian people ― whether we are talking about [to a level of] five percent or 20 percent.” April 6, 2013 according to AFP
            “Those who have focused on the issue of uranium enriched to 20 percent [purity] should be accountable today and answer why they refused to give it to us when we told them we did not want to produce it and asked them to sell it to us for peaceful purposes.” May 16, 2013 in an interview with the Financial Times
 
Economy
            “Those who feel they can pressure the Iranian people through sanctions, are playing in our field; because this act allows for an enhanced Islamic Republic… That which is coming to an end is pressure placed on the Iranian people, for without doubt, difficulties result in further resistance and growth.” May 17, 2012 at a conference on Iran’s economy
            “At least over the past few years when I have been carefully following the effects of sanctions, I see that they can be easily bypassed and turned into opportunities.” May 16, 2013 in an interview with the Financial Times
            “Increasing privatization should not be limited to state supervision and authority.” In undated comments on his campaign website
 
United States
            “To serve its interests, not only does the United States violate the rights of others, but also violates its claims about democracy and free trade by meddling in the internal affairs of other countries and the imposition of unilateral sanctions.” January 2, 2013 during an official visit to India
            “The Iranian nation’s behavior over the past 34 years shows that the U.S. cannot do whatever it wants. The U.S. seriously opposed Iran’s nuclear program when they thought they had no rival in the world. But then they said they were seeking international consensus, but that did not succeed, either... We have never waited to see what U.S. conditions for [direct] talks are. The problem is America’s behaviour. It has to change.”May 16, 2013 in an interview with the Financial Times
            “The United States uses terror as a means for achieving its evil goals… The Islamic revolution of 1978 emerged at a time when the United States had looted the nation’s assets and sought to dominate its minds.” November 4, 2011 at an event marking the anniversary of the U.S. Embassy takeover
            “Even after the end of the war [with Iraq], the Americans continued to work to prevent the growth and the development of that idea, in different fields and different settings… Everything depends on the behavior that American administrations are going to show. They themselves have come to realize that their policies have been wrong.” May 2013 in an interview with The Christian Science Monitor
 
Foreign Affairs
            “The Islamic Revolution model can be reproduced everywhere... If all the powers of the [global] south are connected to pool their power, a great power will be added to the superpowers.” In undated comments on his campaign website
           
Syria
            “How could Assad have lasted this long? Isn't it because he's leaning on popular support? We're not saying that no one is opposed to him. But at the end of the day the will of the people is with him.”August 2012 in an interview with Al Mayadeen television
            “Terrorists have never brought democracy to nations… The present dilemma in Syria is that outsiders have disguised their illegitimate demands as public demands, and are trying to abuse the ongoing crisis in a bid to implement their colonial and interventionist policies.” August 9, 2012 in a meeting with Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari in Baghdad
            “We’ve said from the outset of the Syrian crisis that the only thing that can help resolve the crisis is national dialogue in Syria… We’ve said that terrorism, violent behavior and killing innocent people cannot be steps toward defending the rights of the Syrian people.” February 4, 2013 at a press conference in Damascus
            “The [Israeli] attack exposes the aggressive nature of the regime and its threat to regional security and stability… Enemies claim to defend and support the Syrian nation on the one hand and continue to hatch plots against it on the other hand.” February 2, 2013 in a meeting with Syrian Prime Minister Wael al Halqi in Damascus
            “Once Kofi Annan asked me what is your idea on resolving the problem in Syria. I said: It is only one word: Democracy.” May 13, 2013 via Twitter
 
Women's Rights
            “Women’s core identity lies in motherhood and her role should be defined within that framework, not in an economic context... Making use of women as an object and lowering her greatness to the level of a workforce and economic tool is very different from how they are viewed in Islam. We are backers of women’s rights, especially in comparison to the West." May 29, 2013 at a campaign rally
 
Arab Uprisings
            “The Islamic Awakening has created a great opportunity, and it is only natural that the enemies of peace and stability in the region and the enemies of the Islamic Ummah [community] are not pleased with this situation.” August 6, 2012 in Beirut
            “The United States and Europe must be answerable to the Egyptian people for supporting a dictatorship for 30 years… The victory of the Egyptian Revolution coinciding with the victory of Iran's Islamic Revolution proved that 22 Bahman [February 11] is the day of triumph for regional nations and is the day of defeat for the United States and the Zionist regime.” Feb. 11, 2011 in an interview with Press TV
            “Fortunately, the Islamic thinkers' theory that says Islam is the sole political solution to save the Islamic Ummah has materialized…” July 2012 at a meeting with a Tunisian lawmaker in Tehran
 
Palestinian Issue
            “Palestine belongs to the entire world of Islam and should be liberated.” May 12, 2012 in a meeting with Hamas Foreign Minister Mohamed Awad in Tehran
           “Resistance for the liberation of Palestinian lands is the best axis for unity of Islamic nation and could be used as a preventive strategy in deterring the enemy’s divisive plots.” March 3, 2013 in a meeting with Hamas deputy chief Mousa Abu Marzouq in Tehran
 
Islam and Religion
            “Some say religion is only personal rituals, some say religion is for society. We say religion is for all.” May 13, 2013 via Twitter
            “Islamic thought has powerfully withstood against Western doctrines.” November 4, 2011 at an event marking the anniversary of the U.S. Embassy takeover
 
Israel
            Israel “will regret its attack on Syria, just like it regretted its war on Gaza and Lebanon… Iran will use its power in the [U.N.] Security Council to support Syria against Israel.” February 4, 2013 to the press in Damascus
            “The world community must steadfastly attend to the Zionist nuclear weapon issue… and must be determined to contain proliferation…” February 2013 according to The Young Journalists Club