Excerpts: NPR Host Steve Inskeep Interviews Ali Larijani Morning Edition Host Steve Inskeep interview with Ali Larijani, the speaker of Iran's Parliament.

Excerpts: NPR Host Steve Inskeep Interviews Ali Larijani

NPR News Interview With The Speaker Of Iran's Parliament Ali Larijani

Morning Edition host Steve Inskeep interviews Ali Larijani, the speaker of Iran's Parliament, in New York. Bryan Thomas/NPR hide caption

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Bryan Thomas/NPR

Morning Edition host Steve Inskeep interviews Ali Larijani, the speaker of Iran's Parliament, in New York.

Bryan Thomas/NPR

Sept 4, 2015; Washington, D.C. – In an interview with Morning Edition host Steve Inskeep, the speaker of Iran's Parliament, Ali Larijani, discusses the nuclear deal, the possibility of new sanctions on Iran and the "practical" ways to liberate American prisoners.

The conversation airs in full on Tuesday, Sept. 8, on Morning Edition (find local stations and broadcast times at npr.org/stations). An advanced transcript of the interview, as spoken through an interpreter is available upon request. Some excerpts below:

Responding to a question from NPR's Steve Inskeep about whether Larijani would invite U.S. lawmakers to visit Iran: "You know, these days we are supposed to [be] paving the ground for the ratification and the implementation of the deal... but every day it seems that your Secretary of Defense wakes up in the morning, opens the window, he shouts something at Iran and says that the military option is still on the table. If you really want to have war, then just go with it. Why are you just talking about it all the time?"

Follow the conversation:


On whether the nuclear deal is acceptable for Iran: "It is my belief that even during the negotiations, the Americans tried to bully us, and they forced several things upon us...Personally, my overall view is that it's an acceptable deal. I believe we can use this deal as a step we can take to move forward. And at the same time it's not flawless."

On how his country will respond if the U.S. imposes new sanctions on Iran for supporting the Islamist militant group Hezbollah: "If we feel that the other side is violating the deal, then we will retaliate...I think there are some people who want to wreck the deal, so they are going to find new ways to perforate the deal. If anybody makes holes in this and wrecks the deal in any way, then we will know how to respond to it."

When asked what political, economic, or social reforms he would like to see in Iran in the wake of the nuclear deal, Ali Larijani restricted his answer to the economic realm: "I think we should not spend our energy in areas which cannot bring about palpable or concrete changes in the — in the livelihood of the people. We should try to focus on the economy and make a difference there."

When asked whether he can see a practical way that Iran's government could release Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian and other Americans being held in Iran, Larijani had this to say: "There are practical ways of course. For example, there is a number of Iranians in prison here [in the U.S.]. Definitely for matters of this sort, one can come up with solutions. I think your politicians know about those ways."

All excerpts from the interview must be credited to "NPR News." Broadcast outlets may use up to sixty (60) consecutive seconds of audio from the interview and must include on-screen chyron to "NPR News" with NPR Logo.


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