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  September 17, 2015

Senate Republicans Fail to Stop Iran Deal for the Second Time (2/2)

Mehdi Sarram, author of Nuclear Lies, Deceptions and Hypocrisies, says it is scientifically impossible for Iran to develop a nuclear weapon if the deal is implemented
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Mehdi Sarram was born in Iran, came to the US in 1961 to study nuclear engineering at the University of Michigan. After receiving his post graduate degree in 1967, he went back to Iran and became an assistant professor of nuclear engineering at the University of Tehran as well as the supervisor of the American supplied 5 MW nuclear research reactor. In 1974, he transferred to the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran and became the director of nuclear safeguards and security. He left Iran in 1981 and worked for the department of safeguards at IAEA and then came to the US in 1982. He became a US citizen in 1988 and has been working for the US nuclear industry since then. He has traveled to 38 countries and has 46 years nuclear experience. He has over 30 scientific publications.


SHARMINI PERIES, EXEC. PRODUCER, TRNN: We are speaking with Mehdi Sarram. Mehdi Sarram is an Iranian nuclear engineer who also worked for the Department of Safeguards at IAEA before becoming a U.S. citizen where he worked for the U.S. nuclear industry. He has over 30 scientific publications on the subject. His latest book is Nuclear Lies: Deceptions and Hypocrisies. He's now joining us from Carlsbad, California. Mehdi, thank you for joining us again.

MEHDI SARRAM: Thank you, it's good to be back.

PERIES: Mehdi, in part one we talked about the nuclear agreement, whether it is actually a good thing for Iran. But often when we see this issue covered in the Western press we rarely get a glimpse of how Iranians are feeling about this agreement, and we saw celebrations when, of course, upon signatures between Iran and the P5+1 came about. But since then we haven't really seen much more. Give us a sense of how Iranians are receiving the agreement.

SARRAM: Thank you. I'll give you the viewpoint of my own family members, Iranians, we talk. We can Skype to Iran. There are different views. Those people whom you see in the streets of Tehran celebrating, it is our, naturally, the pro-regime people. These are the people who go in the street and say the greatest, [dah dah, dah dah]. But underneath that, when I talk to professors, I talk to the highly educated Iranians, to the young people, there are about 50 million of them, Iran is a young country. You will see that they show the same concerns that I did in segment number one. Meaning okay, this is great. It's good for the world. Israel will not attack us. America will not attack us. But what happened to the tens of billions of dollars of the country's investments?

Now, they also have a second concern, which is also my concern. As Iran's assets are being released, we don't know how much of this--somebody says 24, somebody says $150 billion. Let's just say nominally the oil money assets, gold, [water], around the world, not all in America. In Europe, all over the world. Let's say $100 billion. This will be released to Iran slowly. It's not like all of a sudden the implementation phase that hopefully I can talk about, is as Iran dismantles the centrifuges money will be released to them. If the IAEA is happy and give a good grade to Iran, the U.S. will release more money.

So Iranians are unhappy about the wasted money. And how the new money, which is the money or the people of Iran, will be used. Will that go to support Syria? Will that go to support Yemen? Or will, hopefully most of it, will be spent for the welfare, growth, construction, education, within the country? I think it's a combination of all.

So the Iranians, you don't see a single article in U.S. media about what I just talked about. They only say, well, what are they going to do with the money? They should not give it to their proxies.

PERIES: What money are you specifically referring to here?

SARRAM: I'm referring to specifically John Kerry, whom I respect a lot, a reporter on the other side of the aisle asked, well, we should tell the Iran money this, that should not go to Syria, should not go--and John Kerry answered, listen, this is their money. How can America, or P5+1, tell a country like Iran what to do with their money? [Inaud.]

PERIES: You're talking about the frozen assets of Iran here in the United States and the money it has generated that they will be now getting back?

SARRAM: Absolutely. It's about $100-plus billion. Remember since the sanctions of 2006 that George Bush Jr. put on Iran, there are six Security Council sanctions. There are numerous EU sanctions. There are yet more U.S. Senate sanctions on Iran. People only talk about Security Council. There are three sets of sanctions on Iran and they will be lifted gradually. I believe the U.S. Senate sanctions will take years to be lifted, because the Republicans won't agree. But the EU sanctions and Security Council sanctions will be lifted, such as Iran can export oil. Such as students can come to America. Such as my sisters can travel freely.

So the money will relax the environment. I am optimistic, much like UK, Britain, opened an embassy in Tehran recently. Amazing. Maybe the U.S. and Iranian governments in five, ten years, who knows, will open embassies and relationship will be better. I am optimistic. I cannot be otherwise.

So the opposition in our U.S. Senate is really frivolous. It's all about politics and reelection of people. I think Obama, to me, should be given a second Nobel Prize in peace for not allowing Israel attack Iran and create a world crisis. But of course, the Republicans say everything that's done is illegal. What Obama did is a masterpiece of diplomacy, and no one gives any credit.

PERIES: Mehdi Sarram, I just want to hold up your book here, Nuclear Lies: Deceptions and Hypocrisies. And I just want to make sure that people who wanted to know more about it read this book. But give us a little glimpse into the book and what you cover.

SARRAM: Sure, thank you. I spent about five years researching who lied to whom and when. I decided to choose only seven countries, and North Korea, China, Russia are not there. Not in any particular order, I chose Iraq, Syria, Israel, Iran--my home country--India, Pakistan, and the good old United States of America, my new home. I went to 60 years ago and figured out, how did India lie to Canada and develop the 1974 nuclear weapon? That was based on lies and deceptions. By the way, I've been to India three times. I know them, we know the site. How Pakistan, AQ Khan, stole the technology from URENCO Netherlands, and built a bomb. Then they helped Iran with the centrifuges.

Iran. Nobody talks about it. Iran's Natanz and Fordow enrichment facility are legal, kosher. They meet NPT requirements. However, how they got that technology, with millions of dollars of cash in [Dubai] to the representative of AQ Khan is in my book. Actually, the chapter on Iran is 150 pages, and I go back to 1955 to the present time, including the Iran and P5 deal. Israel. Well, I have declassified documents from the State Department. It's all there. How Ben Gurion [is told] how Israeli prime ministers lied to Eisenhower, Johnson, and Kennedy, and meanwhile they were developing their nuclear weapons.

And of course, there's something here I discovered, Sharmini, it's like someone lies to someone else, the second person knows, but they want to be lied to. John F. Kennedy could have stopped Israel from developing nuclear weapons. He decided to be lied to, and not do anything about it.

I thank you very much for having me on your program. This is the second time, and it's indeed a pleasure for me.

PERIES: Pleasure having you, Mehdi Sarram. Thank you for joining us.


PERIES: And thank you for joining us on the Real News Network.


DISCLAIMER: Please note that transcripts for The Real News Network are typed from a recording of the program. TRNN cannot guarantee their complete accuracy.


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