According to the state-controlled Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA), Rafsanjani told a meeting of the Expediency Council on Saturday that Iran would continue with its program and would not be stopped by new sanctions being discussed in Washington, D.C.
The semi-official Fars News Agency quoted Rafsanjani as saying that regardless of whether the West wanted Iran to swap its low-enriched uranium for highly enriched uranium of cease the enrichment process altogether, Iran would not stop its nuclear program.
“No matter we are talking about (uranium) enrichment or uranium swap, they (the West) should know that Iran is completely serious in dealing with its nuclear issues,” the Fars News Agency quoted Rafsanjani. “Our path is irreversible and we won’t retreat.”
Rafsanjani, Iran’s president from 1989 to 1997, recently ran against current President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in 2005 but lost. In 2007, he was elected to the country’s Assembly of Experts, which picks the Supreme Leader.
Rafsanjani went on to say that the United States, which he called the “global arrogance,” had launched a propaganda campaign against Iran, using psychological warfare and political pressure to accomplish what he called their “sinister goals.”
Rafsanjani also said that the country will either buy highly enriched uranium or begin producing it itself. Iran needs the highly enriched fuel to power its medical research reactor, which produces radioactive isotopes used in medical testing. Currently, Iran imports all the highly enriched uranium it needs for its medical reactor.
Friday, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said that Iran’s continued rejection of international nuclear norms warranted yet another round of economic sanctions, which she said the administration is currently drafting.