Obama’s secret offer to Iran: Prove you won’t build a bomb and you can have nuclear energy

posted at 6:56 pm on April 6, 2012 by Allahpundit

Krazy kwestion: Hasn’t this always been the U.S.’s not-so-secret offer to Iran? Ignatius is getting lots of media buzz for his column today but I’m not sure why. Could be we’ve reached the point in this endless decade-long diplomatic labyrinth where no one can remember anymore what has and hasn’t been placed on/removed from the bargaining table, but I’m reasonably sure this has always been on it.

President Obama has signaled Iran that the United States would accept an Iranian civilian nuclear program if Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei can back up his recent public claim that his nation “will never pursue nuclear weapons.”

This verbal message was sent through Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who visited Khamenei last week. A few days before traveling to Iran, Erdogan had held a two-hour meeting with Obama in Seoul, in which they discussed what Erdogan would tell the ayatollah about the nuclear issue and Syria.

Obama advised Erdogan that the Iranians should realize that time is running out for a peaceful settlement and that Tehran should take advantage of the current window for negotiations. Obama didn’t specify whether Iran would be allowed to enrich uranium domestically as part of the civilian program the United States would endorse. That delicate issue evidently would be left for the negotiations that are supposed to start April 13, at a venue yet to be decided…

But the diplomatic path still seems blocked, judging by recent haggling over the meeting place for negotiations. Istanbul was expected to be the venue, but the Iranians last weekend balked and suggested instead that negotiators meet in Iraq or China. U.S. officials see this foot-dragging as a sign that the Iranian leadership is still struggling to frame its negotiating position.

I went googling for comments Bush made about Iran’s civilian nuclear energy program and found a Reuters piece memorialized at Free Republic alllllll the way back in September 2005. The lede: “President George W. Bush on Tuesday said Iran had a right to a civilian nuclear program if it did not gain expertise or materials to build an atomic weapon.” A month earlier, the U.S. had backed an EU proposal offering Iran cooperation on nuclear energy if it agreed to suspend enrichment. Per Article IV, signatories to the Nonproliferation Treaty have an “inalienable right” to nuclear power for peaceful uses, a point Iran’s been making since the beginning of this clusterfark. The big worry has never been that they might start building nuclear power plants; the worry is that the plants are just a pretext for them to amass uranium, which they can then spin beyond energy-grade to weapons-grade purity in their centrifuges. If they agreed to give up the centrifuges, then in theory the west could supply them with all the energy-grade uranium they need to keep their power plants going. That would basically eliminate their ability to build a bomb. (The plutonium byproduct generated at the power plants could also be used for bombmaking but the west would insist on being allowed to confiscate that.)

The problem is, even if the sanctions on Iran have started to bite so hard that they’re now willing to back off on nukes, they can’t do it without a tremendous loss of prestige. It would be a total capitulation; they’d have gone from being able to power their own reactors to depending upon their enemies to do it for them, with nothing to show for it except a return to the pre-sanctions status quo. Only if the regime fears that sanctions could so weaken their economy that the population will revolt will they feel they have no choice but to bow in the name of self-preservation. But in that case, why not turn the risk of destabilization to their advantage by pressing on? The closer Iran gets to having nukes, the more the calculus for the west changes from “destabilization is good” to “destabilization is bad” because toppling the regime could put live nukes in play amid the chaos of a revolution. Increasingly I think the only concession that might placate Iran enough to get them to back down is official recognition of the mullahs by the U.S. That would let them save face in a major way; the outrage here at home at Obama (or Romney?) for bowing to nuclear blackmail would let Tehran claim victory in the staring contest, even if it means giving up its centrifuges. The sanctions would lift, the regime would now be officially “legitimate,” and all would be well for everyone except, er, the Iranian people.

If you’re trying to read the tea leaves about a deal, here’s the best I can do: Not only did someone high up apparently leak the offer to Ignatius to test the waters of public opinion, but Iranian “pragmatist” Ayatollah Rafsanjani was just reappointed by Khamenei to lead the country’s Expediency Council. That’s surprising because Rafsanjani was kinda sorta associated with the Green Revolution three years ago; he took no active part but he’s a longstanding enemy of Ahmadinejad, whom Khamenei backed at the time. Now that Ahmadinejad’s fallen out of favor, this guy is back in the supreme leader’s good graces — and lately he’s been talking about how he told Khomeini decades ago that Iran should try to build a relationship with the U.S. Hmmmmm.


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Obama- trying to strengthen the maniacal ayatollahs in power.

Shi’ite Spring!

profitsbeard on April 6, 2012 at 7:00 PM

Don’t worry. He’s just “in over his head”.

Oh, cr@p.

kingsjester on April 6, 2012 at 7:02 PM

Now that Ahmadinejad’s fallen out of favor, this guy is back in the supreme leader’s good graces — and lately he’s been talking about how he told Khomeini decades ago that Iran should try to build a relationship with the U.S. Hmmmmm.

Hey, they gave Obama a Peace prize for ….just existing. Imagine what they can give him if he were to negotiate peace with Iran???

portlandon on April 6, 2012 at 7:02 PM

Sure Obama, in fact, that was our plan all along! Google: Taqiyya

whiskeytango on April 6, 2012 at 7:03 PM

Translation: fake like you won’t build a bomb until after the election, and then I’ll dump the Zionist occupiers in Quds and Palestine.

Wethal on April 6, 2012 at 7:04 PM

Pretty please give me back my drone.

Philly on April 6, 2012 at 7:05 PM

Didn’t we do this with the North Korea?

How did that work out?

The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield, and government to gain ground. Thomas Jefferson

Chip on April 6, 2012 at 7:05 PM

I’ve seen this movie before…

… It does not end well for us.

“12th Imam to the white courtesy phone…

… 12th Imam, white courtesy phone, please.”

Seven Percent Solution on April 6, 2012 at 7:06 PM

October surprise..?

d1carter on April 6, 2012 at 7:06 PM

0bama won’t be happy until there is a second holocaust but all the American Jews will still overwhelmingly vote for him.

jukin3 on April 6, 2012 at 7:07 PM

Krazy kwestion: Hasn’t this always been the U.S.’s not-so-secret offer to Iran?

Well, the big difference here….. was you’ve got me.”

We have Obama now. Negotiating for us. See?

aquaviva on April 6, 2012 at 7:08 PM

“I’ll be seeing you in all the old familiar places…”

Ride ‘em, Major Kong.

kingsjester on April 6, 2012 at 7:09 PM

Granted he doesn’t like the Israelis but the point is that everything including foreign policy and national security must take second place to the re-coronation.

Hey, he personally took out OBL. Now let him eat his waffle guys.

CorporatePiggy on April 6, 2012 at 7:10 PM

Iran’s waiting for Obama to whisper the deal on live tv so they know it’s for real.

Chuck Schick on April 6, 2012 at 7:11 PM

“Allow the inspectors and we won’t attack”

Where have I heard that before?

crosspatch on April 6, 2012 at 7:11 PM

Psssst ! Hey Achmadenijad!…..remember what I said to Medvedev.

viking01 on April 6, 2012 at 7:12 PM

Any thoughts on when/where Israel torpedoes an Obama foreign policy win?

Payback.

BobMbx on April 6, 2012 at 7:18 PM

I will transmit this information to Mahmoud.

Not Neda.

profitsbeard on April 6, 2012 at 7:19 PM

The real offer.

Pretend you do not want the bomb and we will help you get it.

Grunt on April 6, 2012 at 7:24 PM

aw shucks does this mean no war?

DBear on April 6, 2012 at 7:25 PM

“You have to promise you won’t sting me,” said the frog.

The scorpion replied, “Oh, I won’t. I promise.”

RedNewEnglander on April 6, 2012 at 7:26 PM

Imagine what Obama could do with just a little flexibility.

SlaveDog on April 6, 2012 at 7:30 PM

Yes! Remember how I was going to go over every line of the budget, and I’m going to verify how every penny is spent?

KOOLAID2 on April 6, 2012 at 7:31 PM

I miss the good old days when we rushed into war to destroy weapons that never existed then got sucked into a decade-long boondoggle costing a trillion dollars, thousands of soldiers and tens of thousands of their limbs. give me torture and a videotaped beheading anyday over this diplomacy stuff! *sigh*

DBear on April 6, 2012 at 7:37 PM

KOOLAID2 on April 6, 2012 at 7:31 PM

He has verified it – every penny has been spent!

OldEnglish on April 6, 2012 at 7:38 PM

The initial Iranian response to Obama’s suggestion was “Khodaye man!!! Aya divaneh hasti???”

Then, to Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan, “Tell the idiot, sure, we “promise.” [Nudge, nudge, wink, wink.]

Wonder if the Iranians believe Obama is as much a fool as we do?

coldwarrior on April 6, 2012 at 7:42 PM

Give me some space, Mahmoud. This is my last election. After my election, I have more flexibility. Death to the Jews.

galtani on April 6, 2012 at 7:43 PM

0bama won’t be happy until there is a second holocaust but all the American Jews will still overwhelmingly vote for him.

jukin3 on April 6, 2012 at 7:07 PM

That’s because they’re not Jew Jews.

chewmeister on April 6, 2012 at 7:43 PM

Kind of like inviting a robber in your home if he promises not to use a gun.Isn’t it time for another apology tour yet?.What a putz.

jeffinsjvca on April 6, 2012 at 7:44 PM

“Allow the inspectors and we won’t attack”

Where have I heard that before?

crosspatch on April 6, 2012 at 7:11 PM

I give up. Where?

chewmeister on April 6, 2012 at 7:44 PM

obama = sucker

cmsinaz on April 6, 2012 at 7:44 PM

I miss the good old days when we rushed into war to destroy weapons that never existed then got sucked into a decade-long boondoggle costing a trillion dollars, thousands of soldiers and tens of thousands of their limbs. give me torture and a videotaped beheading anyday over this diplomacy stuff! *sigh*

DBear on April 6, 2012 at 7:37 PM

You mean the weapons that most of the Dem Congresscritters said they had? Those weapons?

chewmeister on April 6, 2012 at 7:46 PM

aw shucks does this mean no war?

DBear on April 6, 2012 at 7:25 PM

Ask Israel.

chewmeister on April 6, 2012 at 7:47 PM

Obama’s secret offer to Iran: Prove you won’t build a bomb and you can have nuclear energy

Didn’t Clinton sort of go down this road with North Korea? How’d that work out for ya?

Resist We Much on April 6, 2012 at 8:03 PM

That’s probably harder than proving Obama’s birth certificate, finding out Obama’s SAT and LSAT scores, his university grades and who backed and paid for him to go to Harvard….

;-)

albill on April 6, 2012 at 8:06 PM

You mean the weapons that most of the Dem Congresscritters said they had? Those weapons?

chewmeister on April 6, 2012 at 7:46 PM

How soon they forget!

“If Saddam rejects peace and we have to use force, our purpose is clear. We want to seriously diminish the threat posed by Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction program.”

- Bill Clinton, 17 February 1998.

“[L]et’s imagine the future. What if he [Saddam Hussein] fails to comply and we fail to act, or we take some ambiguous third route, which gives him yet more opportunities to develop this program of weapons of mass destruction and continue to press for the release of the sanctions and continue to ignore the solemn commitments that he made? Well, he will conclude that the international community has lost its will. He will then conclude that he can go right on and do more to rebuild an arsenal of devastating destruction. And some day, some way, I guarantee you he’ll use the arsenal. And I think every one of you who has really worked on this for any length of time, believes that, too.”

- Bill Clinton, 17 February 1998.

“In the next century, the community of nations may see more and more of the very kind of threat Iraq poses now — a rogue state with weapons of mass destruction, ready to use them or provide them to terrorists, drug traffickers, or organized criminals who travel the world among us unnoticed. If we fail to respond today, Saddam, and all those who would follow in his footsteps, will be emboldened tomorrow by the knowledge that they can act with impunity, even in the face of a clear message from the United Nations Security Council, and clear evidence of a weapons of mass destruction program.”

- Bill Clinton, 17 February 1998.

The hard fact is that so long as Saddam remains in power, he threatens the well-being of his people, the peace of his region, the security of the world. The credible threat to use force, and when necessary the actual use of force, is the surest way to contain Saddam’s weapons of mass destruction program (and) curtail his aggression.”

- Bill Clinton, 1998.

“There is no question that Iraq possesses biological and chemical weapons and that he [Saddam Hussein] seeks to acquire additional weapons of mass destruction, including nuclear weapons. That is not in debate. I also agree with President Bush that Saddam Hussein is a threat to peace and must be disarmed, to quote President Bush directly.”

- Chris Dodd,8 October 2002

“We know that he [Saddam Hussein] has stored secret supplies of biological and chemical weapons throughout his country.”

- Al Gore, 23 September 2002.

“We are in possession of what I think to be compelling evidence that Saddam Hussein has, and has had for a number of years, a developing capacity for the production and storage of weapons of mass destruction.”

- Bob Graham, 8 December 2002.

“In the four years since the inspectors, intelligence reports show that Saddam Hussein has worked to rebuild his chemical and biological weapons stock, his missile delivery capability, and his nuclear program. . . . It is clear, however, that if left unchecked, Saddam Hussein will continue to increase his capability to wage biological and chemical warfare and will keep trying to develop nuclear weapons.”

- Hillary Clinton, 10 October 2002.

“He [Saddam Hussein] will use those weapons of mass destruction again, as he has ten times since 1983.”

- Sandy Berger

“We are confident that Saddam Hussein retains some stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons, and that he has since embarked on a crash course to build up his chemical and biological warfare capabilities. Intelligence reports indicate that he is seeking nuclear weapons. . .”

- Robert Byrd, 3 October 2002.

“Serving on the Intelligence Committee and seeing day after day, week after week, briefings on Saddam’s weapons of mass destruction and his plans on using those weapons, he cannot be allowed to have nuclear weapons.”

- John Edwards

“I come to this debate, Mr. Speaker, as one at the end of 10 years in office on the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, where stopping the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction was one of my top priorities. I applaud the President on focusing on this issue and on taking the lead to disarm Saddam Hussein. … Others have talked about this threat that is posed by Saddam Hussein. Yes, he has chemical weapons, he has biological weapons, he is trying to get nuclear weapons.”

- Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi (D, CA) Addressing the US House of Representatives, 10 October 2002 Congressional Record, p. H7777

And, unfortunately for DBear, many, many more….

Hypocrisy Alert! Clinton, Kerry, Gore & Other Democrats Call for War Against Saddam’s Iraq

Resist We Much on April 6, 2012 at 8:09 PM

I mean, is it ANY wonder how the Drone King got the Nobel Peace prize?
I mean really?!?!

Amendment X on April 6, 2012 at 8:09 PM

Obama’s secret offer to Iran: Prove you won’t build a bomb and you can have nuclear energy

And let me warn you up front…..I don’t bluff

/Bammy

antipc on April 6, 2012 at 8:15 PM

Sorry.. OT.. but I HATE that picture of Obama… I know he’s a thug but it just makes me cringe ..

vamp57mw on April 6, 2012 at 8:17 PM

And, unfortunately for DBear, many, many more….

Hypocrisy Alert! Clinton, Kerry, Gore & Other Democrats Call for War Against Saddam’s Iraq

Resist We Much on April 6, 2012 at 8:09 PM

But this won’t matter to DBear. All those Dems just postured. They were never going to actually do anything about it. Bush took action. DBear doesn’t like action.

Bitter Clinger on April 6, 2012 at 8:17 PM

Resist We Much on April 6, 2012 at 8:09 PM

I don’t recall absolving any particular political party of blame for Iraq. I’m just saying I am glad we are on the right course this time, unless of course we elect one Mitt “Bibi’s lapdog” Romney

DBear on April 6, 2012 at 8:21 PM

Bush took action. DBear doesn’t like action.

Bitter Clinger on April 6, 2012 at 8:17 PM

yes, who cares about the fact there were no WMD’s, about the debt he saddled your children by starting a war he never paid for, about sacrificing thousands of soldiers (and their limbs) bringing others back with PTSD we will have to treat for decades (if they don’t kill themselves first), killing 100,000 Iraqi civilians, torturing prisoners, blowing up then rebuilding cities, enraging an already rage-prone new generation of muslims….

I mean as long as the man took action…

DBear on April 6, 2012 at 8:29 PM

I don’t recall absolving any particular political party of blame for Iraq. I’m just saying I am glad we are on the right course this time, unless of course we elect one Mitt “Bibi’s lapdog” Romney

DBear on April 6, 2012 at 8:21 PM

The point is the nearly EVERYONE said that Saddam had WMD. He did. He had used WMDs on his own people. Just about every intelligence agency in the world thought that he had nuclear weapons or was, at least, far along the break-out road. Ironically — considering how often it is blamed for everything — Israel warned the US against invading Iraq.

“The head of the Israeli army has warned of an “earthquake, which will reshape” the Middle East if America goes to war with Iraq.” – 7 February 2003

Also, as much as Tony Blair was called “Bush’s poodle,” it was actually 10 Downing that was pushing for the Iraq War, which is why even the Tories condemn the invasion and Blair. Blair can’t go anywhere in the UK without massive security.

I was against the Iraq War and the ground war in Afghanistan, but not for the same reasons that you were, I’m sure. My problem is that the Democrats, MSM and the Obama Firsters are despicable, bloody hypocrites and liars.

Resist We Much on April 6, 2012 at 8:31 PM

I’m just saying I am glad we are on the right course this time,

How do you know it is the right course?

What do you know about the Hojjatieh Mahdatieh Society?

Resist We Much on April 6, 2012 at 8:34 PM

Obama-the Iranian liason to America

I have to wonder (because I don’t know if there’s precedent,) if an American President, by his words and actions, brings war on the U.S., is THAT enough to bring on articles of impeachment?

jersey taxpayer on April 6, 2012 at 8:36 PM

yes, who cares about the fact there were no WMD’s, about the debt he saddled your children by starting a war he never paid for, about sacrificing thousands of soldiers (and their limbs) bringing others back with PTSD we will have to treat for decades (if they don’t kill themselves first), killing 100,000 Iraqi civilians, torturing prisoners, blowing up then rebuilding cities, enraging an already rage-prone new generation of muslims….

I mean as long as the man took action…

DBear on April 6, 2012 at 8:29 PM

A.) He didn’t know there were no significant stockpiles of WMD (some were found, but not enough to interest the media)
B.) You wanna talk about debt? You, a liberal who helped elect a guy who has really saddled us with debt? 5 trillion deeper in the hole in just 3 years? More than Bush ran up in 8 (and I agree Bush was a spend-a-holic but a miser compared to BHO)? Give me a freakin’ break.
C.) Yes, the human toll for our soldiers and many of the Iraqi civilians has been truly awful. But it is foolish to think that WMD alone was the reason we went to war with Iraq. The reasons are more than I am going to bother recounting to someone like you. And ask those Iraqi civilians what life was like under Saddam. Not exactly a picnic.
D.) The whole prisoner-torture meme is played out. Wasn’t sanctioned by Bush. Just some idiots that got carried away.
E.) Enraging rage-prone Muslims. Yep, they weren’t mad until we invaded Iraq. Yep, keep telling yourself that.

Bitter Clinger on April 6, 2012 at 8:55 PM

Yes, the human toll for our soldiers and many of the Iraqi civilians has been truly awful. But it is foolish to think that WMD alone was the reason we went to war with Iraq.

you are right. all those defense contractors that own our politicians stood to make alotta money (again taken from your children)

You wanna talk about debt? You, a liberal who helped elect a guy who has really saddled us with debt?

again why did we need a stimulus? just for kicks? or maybe to avert a depression? (and yes alotta cronies made $ off that too it’s unfortunate most of that $ wasn’t directed into public works programs)

Enraging rage-prone Muslims. Yep, they weren’t mad until we invaded Iraq. Yep, keep telling yourself that.

nothing like accidentally bombing their wedding-parties to turn that notch up 1000%!

DBear on April 6, 2012 at 9:08 PM

I was against the Iraq War and the ground war in Afghanistan, but not for the same reasons that you were, I’m sure.

Resist We Much on April 6, 2012 at 8:31 PM

I was for both invasions at that time, so you have one-up on me. wish i had been on the same page with you back then.

DBear on April 6, 2012 at 9:12 PM

This is a variation on a failed appeasement policy tried twice before with NK, IIRC.

Just substitute “Clinton/GWB” for “Obama”, “North Korea” for “Iran”, and “free food” for “nuclear energy”.

farsighted on April 6, 2012 at 9:52 PM

From debkaFile

The six points
1. Tehran must come to the talks ready to show it is seriously and genuinely open to a compromise deal on its nuclear program;

2. A negative attitude on Iran’s part would result in President Obama merging the back-channel US-Iranian dialogue with the formal diplomatic negotiating track.

3. Any deal would require a commitment from Khamenei to freeze – though not dismantle – all aspects of Iran’s nuclear program from the moment an accord was reached. No new projects must be initiated and all progress arrested.

4. President Obama asked Erdogan to convey a personal message from him to the Iranian leader:
He was favorably impressed with the ayatollah’s comments in the New Year speech he broadcast live on state television Tuesday, March 20: “We do not have nuclear weapons and we will not build them,” said the ayatollah. “But in the face of aggression from enemies, whether from America or the Zionist regime, we will defend ourselves with attacks on the same level as our enemies attack us.”

5. Tehran must change the hostile anti-US tone of its speeches and publications and stop calling America an enemy and the Great Satan. In place of antipathy, Obama would deeply appreciate a series of helpful comments coming from Iranian leaders and news reports out of Tehran, especially if they highlighted an improved Islamic Republican attitude towards the United States as a result of his administration’s polices.

…The improved climate surrounding relations would reduce the hazards of a war being launched against Iran. By helping to get him returned for a second term, Tehran would find the US president ready to pursue policies agreed between him and Khamenei in the course of their secret dialogue….

6. Erdogan was asked to explain the US President’s strategy of drawing a close linkage between the shifts in US policy on Iran and its nuclear program, on the one hand, and the Syrian crisis, on the other. This approach had guided Obama’s hand in his thus far successful moves to block Muslim-Arab-Western military intervention in Syria.

Friendly21 on April 7, 2012 at 8:14 AM