Abdollah Nouri

Senior Iranian reformist figure, Abdollah Nouri urged the Islamic Republic government to find a speedy resolution to the nuclear disputes with world powers and also called for a referendum on the issue.

Iranian media reports that Abdollah Nouri, former Iranian interior minister discussed the nuclear disputes crisis with the world powers in a meeting with the country’s academic community and student activists.

“It would be useful if non-partisan representatives spoke with the public and the people were given a chance to express their final verdict on the decision-making process regarding the nuclear disputes with the West,” Nouri said.

While stressing that Iran has a right to exploit nuclear power, he added: “Iran’s approach must be realistic, considerate of national interest and free of emotional reactions.”

Nouri postulated that the West’s approach might be a “trap to damage and weaken Iran” and said: “In that case, our decisions and approach should focus on saving the country rather than sacrificing everything for the nuclear issue.”

He acknowledged the pressures of the recent sanctions and the falling national revenues due to the falling price of oil and said: “In such a situation with such a populous country as its geographic range the current measures could cause serious damage to the country’s infrastructure and institutions.”

Nouri noted that the constitution has provisions for setting up such a referendum in important cases.

Abdollah Nouri’s advice about a referendum was omitted by the state media and just reflected in the reformist media abroad.

Iranian reformists have been severely sidelined in Iranian politics after the controversial elections of 2009. While many of their leaders are behind bars or under house arrest, in the past weeks there have been statements about their possible return to the political arena in the coming presidential elections next year.