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Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
Strategic Alliances for a Secure, Connected, and Prosperous Region

Iranian Presidential Candidate Saeed Jalili Calls for Enrichment to 100 Percent

Filed under: Iran, Israel, Nuclear Warfare

The Iranian nuclear file is one of the burning issues in the current presidential campaign. Two candidates, Saeed Jalili and Hasan Rowhani, have served as Iranian negotiators with the West and flaunt this fact in their election propaganda. Jalili currently heads the talks with the P-5 plus 1. This week, Jalili was quoted in Fars News, which is close to the Republican Guards who support it indirectly. He said: “It is prohibited to suspend the potential within youth [here he is a drawing an analogy between the potential of uranium and the potential of young people] and it should be enriched not to the level of 5 percent or 20 percent but to 100 percent enrichment.”


The headline of the Fars News article left no doubt about the intent behind Jalili’s statement: “We Will Raise the Percentage of Enrichment to 100 Percent.”1


The opening sentence of the article also clarifies what Jalili meant: “We must go up to a path that leads us to 100 percent enrichment.” Nothing is said here about enriching the youth of Iran.



The Farsi term “ghanisazi” (see bold in Jalili’s first quotation above) is only used in the context uranium enrichment. Jalili used the term in a sophisticated way in order to present himself as someone who will advance the Iranian nuclear program far more than Rowhani, and if he is elected, he will take it to the next level, meaning enrichment for a nuclear bomb. Similarly, the use of the term “suspend” allows Jalili to sting Rowhani, who agreed to a temporary suspension of uranium enrichment during his negotiations with the Europeans between 2003 and 2005.