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Ahmadinejad: Iran won’t negotiate over the nuclear program

By: Meir Javedanfar

16/04/2009

Judging by news from Iran, negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program are over, even before they started.

According to BBC Persian, on the 15th of April, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, in a speech in the city Kerman stated that “the people of Iran are people of logic and dialogue. However the time for discussions over the nuclear program has come to an end, and the clock will not go back”.

He continued to say “today, we have to discuss and collectively think about other issues such as reform of international structures, reform of the UN Security Council, and execution of justice and real peace. Iran is ready in all such areas”.

Ahmadinejad also addressed the preparation of a new package for negotiations. He stated “last year, we offered a package. However, taking into consideration new developments, we are preparing a new package which will soon be ready, and we are ready to discuss subjects mentioned in the package”.

It is very unlikely that Ahmadinejad would make such a statement without the consent of the Supreme Leader.

Therefore, judging by his statement, the nuclear program is unlikely to be part of the negotiations with Obama.

Should this happen, it would be a major victory for those who have championed tough sanctions, or even military action against Iran’s nuclear program. They could use Iran’s unwillingness to even discuss this important issue as a sign that talks with Iran are futile.

This statement is indeed a set back for all those who have been calling for a negotiated settlement over the nuclear program.

One can only hope that Ahmadinejad made the mistake of going against Khamenei.

However, if the Supreme Leader of Iran backs such a strategy, then he could have just made a major mistake. Shutting the door in the face of Obama even before talks have started is likely to make the enemies of his regime jump for joy. So soon after his conciliatory new year’s message, Obama could find that he has to gather consensus for much tougher sanctions, instead of talks. Using Khamenei’s rebuttal, he is likely to be far more successful than George Bush.

Furthermore, it could also be yet another sign which supports those who say that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is likely to be Iran’s next president. Because such statements are against what reformists believe, and want.


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Posted on : Apr 17 2009
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