Former ambassador warns of Iranian nuclear program

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(Host) A former Iranian United Nations ambassador says the United States will soon be forced to deal with Iran’s nuclear weapons program. Mansour Farhang says despite denials by the Iranian government, he’s certain the country is developing a nuclear bomb.

Farhang spoke Thursday at Saint Michael’s College in Colchester. He says when the Iraqi crisis is over, the Bush administration will turn its attention to Iran:

(Farhang) “One important reason with respect to Iran is that Israel is extremely concerned. The second factor is that Iran definitely does not have a bomb yet, but it’s getting close.”

(Host) President Bush has called Iran, North Korea and Iraq the “Axis of Evil.” The president says all three countries are developing weapons of mass destruction. Farhang says Iran is of greater concern than North Korea because of its proximity to Israel, and to Arab countries friendly to the United States. He says he’s afraid the U.S. will try to use force to end Iran’s nuclear weapons program:

(Farhang) “Response to this nuclear ambition in Iran has to be political, because threat, sanctions and inspections will produce the same kind of situation that we’re facing in Iraq today.”

(Host) Farhang resigned as the Iranian ambassador in 1979, after he failed to negotiate the release of American hostages in Tehran. He was later forced to leave Iran. He currently teaches at Bennington College.

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