Washington, D.C., August 10, 2005 - Robert McFarlane, a former National Security Advisor to President Ronald Reagan, told the Voice of America (VOA) today that the Iranian government's breaking of the U.N. seals on a uranium processing plant in that country was an action that represented "a very, very serious breach."
McFarlane, appearing live on VOA's monthly Persian language TV program Looking Ahead, said that Iran's resumption of activity in a facility that produces precursor material for highly enriched uranium, "if validated and proven, doesn't hold out much hope for the success of our talks with them."
U.S. Representative John Spratt (D-SC), who appeared on the same program via satellite, also expressed concern, saying, "We're deeply suspicious of them building the wherewithal to have nuclear weapons and become a nuclear power." He added: "This is a very serious matter, and Iran is taking a very harmful step if it has done this."
One viewer called in to the show from Iran to say that nuclear capabilities were a matter of "national pride" for Iranians, but other callers were critical of Iran's actions. "We do not have bread to eat, what are we going to do with nuclear capabilities? " asked one caller from Tehran. A caller from Mashhad, Iran complained that the Iranian people have no say in such decisions.
VOA broadcasts several Persian language TV programs to Iran. News and Views is a daily one-hour television news show broadcast via satellite to audiences in Iran; Roundtable With You is a weekly 90-minute discussion show; and Next Chapter is a weekly 30-minute youth newsmagazine show. Looking Ahead airs live every month as a 90-minute show focusing on human rights and the democratic movement in Iran. VOA's television shows complement VOA Persian's daily radio broadcasts and Radio Farda, a 24-hour, seven-day-a-week, youth-oriented radio program that is a joint project of VOA and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. The VOA Persian Service Internet site is at www.voanews.com/persian.
The Voice of America, which first went on the air in 1942, is a multimedia international broadcasting service funded by the U.S. government through the Broadcasting Board of Governors. VOA broadcasts more than 1,000 hours of news, information, educational, and cultural programming every week to an estimated worldwide audience of more than 100 million people. Programs are produced in 44 languages, including English.
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