STEPHANOPOULOS: Including surprise inspections?
ZARIF: Oh yeah. We already have surprise inspections. We are moving in that direction.
As you know, when I was negotiating our nuclear issue in the early 2000s, we had -- we were implementing thee additional protocol on a voluntary basis, which provides for surprise inspections. Unfortunately at that time, the U.S. administration, at that time, had different views...
STEPHANOPOULOS: But there were some facilities that were hidden.
ZARIF: ...different objectives.
No, all facilities at that time -- we're talking about 2003 to 2005 when we were negotiating -- all facilities were open to the IAEA. The IAEA was able to observe the mall...
STEPHANOPOULOS: Only after you were caught.
ZARIF: And the IAEA said that although Iran had not declared its activities, now that we see those activities none of them have been diverted to military use. So there is no question that Iran ever had military intentions. There may have been technical problems. They may have been problems of transparency and we are prepared to address those problems.
But we need to see -- you see lack of confidence is unfortunately mutual. As the president said, both President Obama and President Rouhani have said, there has been 34 years of building up of this mutual distrust. We need to move in that direction of removing some of that mistrust through mutual steps that each side needs to take in order to convince the other side that it's intentions are positive and for a better future for all of us.
STEPHANOPOULOS: And a big player in all this, of course, is also Israel. Prime Minister Netanyahu is on his way to the United States right now to meet with President Obama, to speak at the U.N. general assembly.
On his way, he -- at the airport, his departure, he called the moves by you and President Rouhani this week a smile attack. And the British Sunday Times is reporting that he'll be presenting intelligence to President Obama that says Iran already has enough enriched uranium to produce some nuclear weapon, is developing a nuclear detonator and is testing missiles that could carry nuclear warheads.
ZARIF: Well, a smile attack is much better than a lie attack. Mr. Netanyahu and his colleagues have been saying since 1991 -- and you can refer to your records -- that Iran is six months away from a nuclear weapon. And we are how many years, 22 years after that and they are still saying we're six months away from nuclear weapons. I think this six-month time limit is something that is...
STEPHANOPOULOS: So you're not six months from a nuclear weapon?
ZARIF: We're not seeking nuclear weapons. So, we're not six months, six years, sixty years away from nuclear weapons. We don't want nuclear weapons. We believe nuclear weapons are detrimental to our security. We believe those who have the illusion that nuclear weapons provide them with security are badly mistaken. We need to have a region and a world free from nuclear weapons.
I appeared before the international court of justice about 16 years ago and argued for 90 minutes that the use of chemical -- nuclear weapons under any circumstances is illegal.
Our leader has a religious verdict that the use of nuclear weapons, even possession of nuclear weapons, is contrary to religious doctrine.