Tuesday, 10 April 2012

"Whether true or not, this is the 'Obama Message' Iranians are debating"

VIA FLC

"... While neither the Washington Post nor Haaretz provided much detail about Obama’s message, according to Tabnak — relying on Debka — it contained six main points. Whether true or not, this is the report Iranians are debating:
1. The Islamic Republic must attend the upcoming talks with the P5+1 group, the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council and Germany, scheduled for Friday, April 13. Iran must be prepared to demonstrate that it is genuinely and seriously open to a compromise on its nuclear program.
2. If Iran’s delegation attends the talks with a negative attitude, President Obama will merge the back-channel U.S.-Iran dialogue [believed to have been taking place for some time] with the formal diplomatic negotiating track.
3. Any agreement with Tehran would require a commitment from the Islamic Republic to freeze (though not dismantle) all aspects of its nuclear program. It would do so the moment the accord was reached. No new projects may be initiated, and all projects in progress must stop. The number of centrifuges at the Fordow enrichment facility must not be expanded; research on nuclear weapons and the construction of models [as alleged] must be discontinued, and the transition of uranium enrichment from 3.5 percent to 20 percent must be halted.
4. Obama allegedly asked Erdogan to tell Khamenei that he was impressed by the Supreme Leader’s comments in his annual speech to the nation on the occasion of the new Iranian year [that began March 20] in which he declared, “The Iranian nation has never pursued and will never pursue nuclear weapons…. Iran is not after nuclear weapons because the Islamic Republic, logically, religiously and theoretically, considers the possession of nuclear weapons a grave sin and believes the proliferation of such weapons is senseless, destructive and dangerous.” [Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton also said that Khamenei’s “abstract” statement must be put into practice as the government’s policy.] In his message, Obama supposedly responded to another of Khamenei’s remarks, made to pilgrims gathered at the Imam Reza Shrine in Mashhad: “The Americans are making a grave mistake if they think that by making threats they will destroy the Iranian nation.” Obama allegedly asked Erdogan to tell Khamenei that neither he nor the United States have entertained such ideas.
5. The Islamic Republic must change its hostile anti-U.S. tone in speeches and publications. It must stop calling America an enemy and the Great Satan. In place of such statements, Obama would deeply appreciate helpful comments by the Iranian leaders, as well as news reports from Tehran reflecting an improved attitude by the Islamic Republic toward the United States, as a result of his administration’s polices. As an example of what Obama would like to see, Erdogan supposedly cited Khamenei’s words of praise to the American president “promoting diplomacy rather than war” as a solution to Tehran’s nuclear program.A positive overture by the Islamic Republic toward the United States, he said, will help Obama counter his critics who have charged him with being “soft” on Iran. This would help him get reelected. If he does, he could pursue diplomacy with Tehran and avert the war that the right has been pushing.
6. On Obama’s behalf, Erdogan explained to Khamenei that there is a close link between shifts in U.S. policy on Iran and its nuclear program, on the one hand, and the crisis in Syria on the other. The message was that Obama has apparently so far succeeded in blocking moves by Saudi Arabia and its allies around the Persian Gulf to push for Western military intervention in Syria. Obama believes that a coalition that includes Washington, Moscow, Beijing, Tehran, and the United Nations can be successful in resolving the Iranian nuclear issue.
If this report is true, Khamenei has so far remained publicly silent about the message. Fars, the news agency controlled by the Revolutionary Guards, reported that Umit Yadim, Turkey’s ambassador to Tehran, has denied the report. On the other hand, Mehr News Agency, which is owned by the Organization of Islamic Propaganda, claimed that in his message, Obama said that “he has no opposition to a civilian nuclear program” in Iran. The Washington Post reports that the U.S. president has left the issue of Iran’s uranium enrichment for the upcoming negotiations."
 
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