HASSAN ROUHANI: So, in the context of nuclear technology, particularly of research and development and peaceful nuclear technology, we will not accept any limitations. And in accordance with the parliament law, in the future, weâ€™re going to need 20,000 megawatts of nuclear-produced electricity, and weâ€™re determined to obtain the nuclear fuel for the nuclear installation at the hands of our Iranian scientists. And we are going to follow on this path.
FAREED ZAKARIA: So there would be no destruction of centrifuges, of existing centrifuges?
ROUHANI: Not under any circumstances. Not under any circumstances.
CHRIS CUOMO: I mean, Fareed, what is the deal? Thatâ€™s supposed to be the whole underpinning of moving forward from the United States' perspective is that they scale back, they dismantle all this stuff we've been hearing. How do you interpret what you just heard from the president?
ZAKARIA: Well, I was as struck by it as you were, Chris. This strikes me as a train wreck. This strikes me as potentially a huge obstacle because the Iranian conception of what the deal is going to look like and the American conception now look like they are miles apart. The Iranian conception seems to be they produce as much nuclear energy as they want, but it is a civilian program, and you can have as much monitoring and inspections as you want. The American position is that they have to very substantially scale back the enrichment of uranium and the production of centrifuges. For the fist time you have the president of Iran unequivocally saying there will be no destruction of centrifuges. He also made clear in the interview with me that the two heavy water reactors would continue in operation. So this seems like â€” you know, this is stillborn. Iâ€™m not even quite sure what theyâ€™re going to talk about if these are the opening positions. And itâ€™s very hard to walk back from as absolutist a position as the president of Iran laid out.