WASHINGTON (CBS DC) — A member of Iran’s Majlis (Parliament) spoke at a political conference on Friday, stating that Iran needs a nuclear bomb “to put Israel in its place.”
Speaking at the conference in northeastern Iran, Majlis representative and member of Ayatollah Mohammed Taqi Mesbah Yazdi’s radical wing, Mohammad Nabavian, said that Iran is not seeking a nuclear bomb but should acquire it for regional balance.
“We don’t aspire to obtain a nuclear bomb, but it is necessary so we can put Israel in its place,” said Nabavian, citing U.S.-led negotiations favoring the Israelis.
In a translation from the Washington D.C.-based think-tank, the Middle East Media Research Institute, Nabavian also recounted repetitive American attempts to meet with Iran’s president during his recent visit to the United States.
Quoting Iran President Hassan Rouhani, Nabavian said the Iranians rebuffed the White House.
“After I won the elections, Obama relayed a message to me, [even] before [my September 2013] visit to New York. The White House contacted me five times seeking a meeting.’ Now the question must be asked: Why does this superpower insist on meeting Iran’s president… while calling us a third-world [country]?”
Continuing in Rouhani’s alleged words: “During my journey to New York, I arrived at the hotel on Monday night and again they contacted me from the White House. I assembled the delegation accompanying me and we decided not to meet [with Obama].”
“On Tuesday afternoon after the press conference, they said to me, ‘Why did you humiliate Obama and America?’ And I said there was no humiliation. Here I recalled the words of the Imam [Khomeini] who said that one must humiliate the infidel leaders.”
Nabavian also recounted how Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said that America’s repeated efforts to meet with them shows that the “superpower” of the U.S. “needs” the Iranians. Much of the conversation relayed by Nabavian centers around the recent Geneva nuclear negotiation talks.
The Middle East Media Research (MEMRI) – which translated and initially reported Nabavian’s Friday speech — explores the Middle East and South Asia through media. Located in Washington, D.C., the cultural research group is bipartisan and includes various academics and former intelligence officials seeking to bridge the gap between eastern and western relations.