A key member of the centrist Executives of Construction Party in Iran has dismissed the value of a nuclear agreement, saying that peace comes out of a gun.
Some of the opinions expressed in an interview by Saeed Laylaz, an economic columnist turned politician, were so controversial that that the Etemad newspaper in a rare move had to distance itself from it and put a disclaimer saying, the opinions expressed were totally those of the interviewee and did not necessarily conform to the views of the daily's editors.
Laylaz said among other things that "Peace comes out of gun barrels, not out of agreements," and opined that "the know-how of making nuclear bombs is Iran's geopolitical shield." Meanwhile, he said that "all possible achievements of an agreement about the revival of the 2015 nuclear deal would be temporary."
Meanwhile, a prominent reformist politician, Former Deputy Foreign Minister Mohsen Aminzadeh told the daily's website, Etemad Online, that mainstream reformists in Iran disagree with Laylaz and believe in an agreement with the United States.
Laylaz said that the revival of the JCPOA in its current form is not in the interest of the Islamic Republic. "I hope the Iranian side refuses to sign the JCPOA," he said, adding that a temporary agreement is the best substitute for the JCPOA.
Former US president Donald Trump signing the withdrawal from the JCPOA in May 2018
In one of the most controversial parts of the interview, Laylaz said that "Under the current circumstances an Iran capable of making nuclear bombs would be a safer country."
Meanwhile, expounding on the Islamic Republic's ongoing economic crisis, he said that good governance and a campaign against financial corruption will solve the country's problems. Laylaz attributed Iran's economic vows to mismanagement rather than the impact of US sanctions and said some of the cases of financial corruption in Iran are tantamount to outright theft. Laylaz attributed 80 percent of Iran's economic problems to financial corruption.
However, he acknowledged that former US President Donald Trump's withdrawal from the nuclear deal with Iran has had a devastating impact worse than the Mongol invasion of Persia. He added that even the current US administration is aware that the next administration will most certainly nullify any agreement with Iran.
Cascades of Iranian uranium enrichment machines, or centrifuges
Laylaz said Iran wants the agreement with the United States for two purposes: An economic purpose and a security purpose. But an agreement with the US will not serve any one of these two purposes. From an economic point of view, the West is not going to give any technology to Iran as long as Iran is a revolutionary Islamic country. He added: "In a country from where around $20 billions of capital exits every year, it is foolish to look for $2 billion dollars of foreign investment. We need to prevent the flight of capital from Iran."
Meanwhile, he argued that as soon as Iran signs an agreement with the West, the price of oil will come down, denying Iran any gain from a possible agreement. He added that even with an agreement, Iran's economic problems will reoccur within 6 months.
Laylaz also opined that in terms of security, an agreement will not solve Iran's problems because the West does not want a revolutionary Iran, while reaching a nuclear weapons capability will provide the deterrence Iran needs.
Asked what happens if Iran refuses to sign an agreement and its nuclear case goes to the UN Security Council? Laylaz said, "nothing will happen to Iran as long as Russia and China are UNSC member states. We should not be afraid of the trigger mechanism in the JCPOA. Let me tell you, this gun has no trigger. The United States has already tried everything against Iran, all in vain."