Abbas Araghchi, Iran's Deputy Foreign Minister
Dr. Abbas Araghchi on Negotiations with the U.S.
Iran's Deputy Foreign Minister for Legal and International Affairs, Dr. Seyed Abbas Araghchi, gave an interview to UK reporter Gareth Smyth of The Financial Times on May 8, 2007. Speaking in English, Araghchi responded to questions about Iran's options in the nuclear standoff with the West, and drew comparisons with the oil nationalization dispute in the 1950's:
They have concerns that the Iranian programme might be diverted into non-peaceful purposes in the future. Let’s find a solution. Why are they sanctioning us because they think maybe in the future, Iran would go for military purposes..? They have doubts about our intentions, they have found nothing in the ground. So they are punishing us for crimes we have not committed yet! This is not fair, the resolutions are not fair.
They want to be ensured about the peaceful nature of our programme. Okay, let’s work together … let’s concentrate on the question of non-diversion, which can be a good subject for negotiations …There are different ideas and initiatives [on] how we can ensure the peaceful nature of Iran’s programme in the future. A good one is the idea of consortium, we may go for consortium based on the proposal of our president in the General Assembly of the United Nations in 2005. If they want to be assured about our programme, okay, they can be a part of it, they can be present in a joint venture …
There might be other ideas, how we can have enough guarantees that Iran’s programme would remain peaceful. We are prepared to talk about that, to negotiate that. They should not ask to give up our rights, to stop our programme, but they are entitled to ask anything else.
But we will pay the price for [continuing] our nuclear programme. We know it may be a costly way, but this is an important juncture in our history. The British went to the UN Security Council over Iran's nationalization of oil [in 1951] - saying it was a threat to the peace of the world…
The Iranian people resisted …and paid a price. There was a [US engineered] coup [in 1953] …and 26 years of dictatorship [under Shah Mohammad Reza, overthrown in 1979]. But if we had not paid that price, our people would still be buying Iranian oil from BP.
Official Biography of Dr. Seyed Abbas Araghchi
Prior to becoming Ambassador, Dr. Araghchi served from September 1998 as Director General of the Institute for Political and International Studies (IPIS), a research institute affiliated to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Dr Araghchi has worked in the Institute as a Senior Researcher since his return from Britain, where he obtained his Ph.D. in 1995. From October 1997 to September 1998, Dr. Araghchi was Head of the Center for Persian Gulf and the Middle East Studies at the IPIS.
From 1998 to 1999 Dr. Araghchi was Editor in Chief of the Journal of Foreign Policy, a quarterly journal published by the IPIS. Since 1995 he has been among the editorial board of several journals and a lecturer at the Faculty of International Relations.
A career diplomat, Dr. Araghchi entered the Foreign Ministry of the Islamic Republic of Iran in 1990. He started his work in the International Department and soon upgraded as Deputy Director for Regional Organizations. From 1990 to 1991 he served as Charge´ d' Affairs of the Permanent Mission of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the Organization of Islamic Conference, based in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
Dr. Araghchi received B.A. in Diplomatic Relations from Faculty of International Relations in 1989, M.A. in Political Science in 1991, and Ph.D. in Politics & Government from University of Kent at Canterbury, Britain, in 1995.
Born in 1962, Ambassador Araghchi is married to Bahareh and they have three children, Saeideh Sadat, Seyed Hosein and Seyed Reza.