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Posted by on Jul 5, 2008 in At TMV | 8 comments

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.

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  • Silhouette

    Now I wonder…just wondering here…

    GOP needs an October scare once it’s played “bird with the broken wing” long enough to get easily-defeatable Obama formally nominated. Check.

    We predicted it would be Iran…OK…on schedule…gearing up for just after the August Convention where they will formally trounce their feared opponent, Clinton, with the help of rightwing “democrat” Governor Ritter of Co presiding…..check…good…

    Now, we know that Dubya started a business with Salem Bin Laden (Osama’s brother) and is friends with the Bin Ladens. So we know there is a connection between American BigOil execs and Middle Eastern ones…check…

    I wonder if, via the GOP’s influence and some good old boy network they’ve got going with their arab buddies, that they could pursuade Iranian officials to amp up threats of terror just in time to sway enough Middle-ground American voters to push McCain (BigOil-as-usual) to power?


    If you think about it from a practical political standpoint, Iran has nothing to gain whatsoever by any funny business in this critical election time that would result in a McCain victory. Yet strangely, with all their intelligence operatives in full mental sobriety, they’re seeming to do just that. Weird?

    If I was in charge of Iran’s welfare, my political card I’d play would be to be as placid calm and complacent, within reason, to GOP provocative language and wait until the neophyte Obama takes the Oval Office to begin to throw my weight around.

    But then maybe they’re afraid, like the GOP, that Clinton will come into the nomination and represent real and actual change vs the kind Obama espouses to beat back opponents to do as he pleases in the final lap around the track? Maybe Iranian officials, but not necessarily their people, stand to gain by a McCain victory. Or maybe, like that CIA operative of 20-something years who was fired for not doctoring his findings to reflect that Iran was mounting WOMDs, we are being fed a line of total BS hoping to scare us in McCain’s direction?

    All these possiblities. I say: trust your instincts and go with the candidate who will actually bring our country back from the brink of destruction BigOil has placed us squarely in. And no, her name isn’t Obama.

  • ff11

    So let me get this straight. All they have to do is to immediately and verifiably dismantle their own purification program, and in exchange they would get to START talks about POSSIBLE lifting of sanctions and they didn’t jump at the opportunity?

    I’m shocked. SHOCKED!

  • DLS

    Who would expect or even hope the Iranians would say “yes”?

    Who would believe the Iranians if the Iranians said “yes”?

    The Iranians are counting on Western weakness and misjudgment. They’re also likely stalling for time until after the US elections and a likely weaker-appearing new President Obama. (This is cause for concern among intelligent Americans, but it remains to be seen what Obama and others with whom Obama would have to work in Washington would actually do. So far Obama has indicated less than a truly loony approach to Iraq, even if the anti-war-and-US-success far lefties hate him for not planning a 100% removal and retreat and effective surrender — and loud announcement of this and apology to the terrorists, too? — on Day One of his new administration.)

    The Iranians probably are also waiting and HOPE-ing (pun clearly intended) to get a better deal from a new USA and weaker West next year than they could get now, a deal that could even surpass North Korea’s, while they would proceed anyway to continue working on nuclear weapons (and don’t forget other WMDs in addition to their already-demonstrated ballistic missile activities).

  • DLS

    I’m surprised at least some of the Usual Suspects haven’t said they were afraid of a July 4 US attack on Iran, While America and Iran Slept.

  • runasim

    There is a great deal of posturing going on, by both Bush and Iran.

    For Iran, an important element is gaining recognition as a legitimate power and face-saving. Also, I think they don’t want to deal with the EU without US presence at the negotiations table. It’s a power play between the US and Iran, and the EU is just the messenger.
    For Bush, it’s also a matter of ego and face-saving. He can’t join the negotiations without preconditions without losing face, but that’s what Iran wants, I think.

    I’m very nervous, particularly because I’m not sure what Bush is capable of as a surrprise farewell gesture.


  • f11,

    No, the US/EU precondition is that Iran HALT it’s enrichment activities during negotiation as a sign of good faith. They wouldn’t have to dismantle anything.

    The US/EU reasoning for this condition is to prevent Iran from simply dragging negotiations out until it had a fait accompli.

  • runasim

    You are right for the EU about halting during negotiations.
    It was my understanding that the US wouldn’t partcipate in negotiations until after halting.
    Perhaps I’m wrong.

  • ff11


    Also, once Iran has halted enrichment, what sign of good faith does IT get that the US/EU won’t simply drag out negotiations?

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