Iran’s Position Unchanged Despite Offered Incentives Package
The other day I posted a piece about the most recent set of negotiations (by the EU and others) with Iran. Lots of incentives were promised….if only Iran would stop its uranium enrichment program (BN-Politics).
The Iranians have returned a reply.
In the first official comments since Iran submitted its response to the EU, spokesman Gholamhossein Elham said that Iran “will not go back on its rights on the nuclear issue”.
“Iran’s stand regarding its peaceful nuclear program has not changed. Iran insists on negotiations while respecting its rights and avoiding any loss of international rights,” BBC News)
I guess that means ‘no.’
The article suggests that there is, or at least may be, division of opinion among Iranian officials, but that President Ahmadinejad.has reaffirmed his commitment to the program. The rejection seems to have come from an official close to him.
Along with the offer, Iran rejected a substantial package of sweeteners:
The incentives package builds on a previous offer of 2006 and says that if Iran suspends uranium enrichment, then talks can start about a long-term agreement.
On offer is recognition of Iran’s right to develop nuclear energy for peaceful purposes and the treatment of Iran in “the same manner” as other states under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.
Iran would get help with developing nuclear power stations and be guaranteed fuel for them.
It would also be offered trade concessions, including the possible lifting of US sanctions preventing it from buying new civilian aircraft and parts.(BBC News)
So no encouraging news there, I’m afraid. Are you as nervous as I am, with Israel and its military exercises and one of Bush’s favorite evildoers calling the tune? Not to mention Seymour Hersh’s latest? I have said it before: the gun displayed in the first act almost certainly goes off in the third.
The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Adm Mullen, has recently stated that this would most definitely not be a good time to open up a third front in Iran (BN-Politics). I hope that means that the Bush will most definitely not consider doing it, but the Cowboy-in-Chief recently stated that all the options remain on the table (BBC News) — never mind that we haven’t actually got the resources.
Leyne pointed out in an earlier piece that Bush will certainly be gone at the end of the year and Ahmadinejad.may be, since he is up for reelection and looks like having an uphill battle. I don’t like wishing my life or time away, but there are moments when it seems as if a fast-forward button is our only hope.