Of course, they so dearly wanted to be fooled. From the Telegraph via the Sydney Morning Herald, with thanks to Kemaste:
THE man who for two years led Iran’s nuclear negotiations has laid out in unprecedented detail how the regime took advantage of talks with Britain, France and Germany to forge ahead with its secret atomic program.
In a speech to a closed meeting of leading Islamic clerics and academics, Hassan Rowhani, who headed talks with the so-called EU3 until last year, revealed how Tehran played for time and tried to dupe the West after its secret nuclear program was uncovered by the Iranian opposition in 2002.
He boasted that while talks were taking place in Tehran, Iran was able to complete the installation of equipment for conversion of yellowcake – a key stage in the nuclear fuel process – at its Isfahan plant while convincing European diplomats that nothing was afoot.
“From the outset, the Americans kept telling the Europeans, ‘The Iranians are lying and deceiving you and they have not told you everything’. The Europeans used to respond, ‘We trust them’,” he said.
Revelation of Mr Rowhani’s remarks comes at an awkward moment for the Iranian Government, before a meeting today of the United Nations atomic watchdog, which must make a fresh assessment of Iran’s banned nuclear operations. The International Atomic Energy Agency’s judgement is the final step before the case is passed to the UN Security Council, where sanctions may be considered.
In his address to the Supreme Council of Cultural Revolution, Mr Rowhani appears to have been seeking to rebut criticism from hardliners that he gave too much ground in talks with the Europeans. The contents of the speech were published in a regime journal that circulates among the ruling elite.
He told his audience: “When we were negotiating with the Europeans in Tehran we were still installing some of the equipment at the Isfahan site “¦ In reality, by creating a tame situation, we could finish Isfahan.”