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World Council for the Cedars Revolution

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Dec 06th
Home arrow News Content arrow Blog arrow Blog Items arrow Intelligence arrow Iran rejects Barack Obama's planned policy of incentives and sanctions
Iran rejects Barack Obama's planned policy of incentives and sanctions PDF Print E-mail
Written by AP   
Tuesday, 09 December 2008

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Iranian officials don't see President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad being moved by 'carrot and stick' policies like those floated by President-elect Barack Obama on 'Meet the Press.'

TEHRAN, Iran - Iran on Monday rejected a proposal by U.S. President-elect Barack Obama that a carrot and stick policy of economic incentives and tighter sanctions might persuade the Iranian government to change its behavior.

Obama also said in an interview with NBC's "Meet the Press" that the U.S. should ratchet up direct diplomacy as a way to induce Iran to alter course on its controversial nuclear program and cease support for militant groups like Hamas and Hezbollah.

The Iranian government has also expressed interest in more direct talks with the U.S. but has consistently refused to alter its nuclear program as a precondition. It has also rejected past offers of economic incentives by the international community to scale back its nuclear activities, a sentiment echoed Monday by Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesman, Hasan Qashqavi.

"The carrot and stick policy has no benefit," Qashqavi told reporters during his weekly press briefing. "It is unacceptable and failed."

But Obama expressed hope in his interview Sunday that the international community could develop a set of incentives that would persuade Iran to alter its nuclear program, which the U.S. and many of its allies suspect is cover for weapons development but Tehran says is focused on power generation.

"You know, in terms of carrots, I think that we can provide economic incentives that would be helpful to a country that, despite being a net oil producer, is under enormous strain, huge inflation, a lot of unemployment problems there," said Obama.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was elected in 2005 after promising to improve economic conditions for the country's poor. But the hardline president has since been criticized by both conservatives and reformists for his mismanagement of the economy. Economic conditions in Iran have worsened recently as oil prices have plummeted about 70 percent from record highs in July.

Obama said the U.S. should step up diplomatic efforts with nations like China and Russia that do business with Iran to convince them to tighten the three round of U.N. sanctions levied against the country for failing to suspend uranium enrichment — a process that can produce fissile material for a nuclear weapon or fuel for a reactor.

"But we are willing to talk to them (Iran) directly and give them a clear choice and ultimately let them make a determination in terms of whether they want to do this the hard way or the easy way," said Obama.

Qashqavi reiterated Iran's refusal to suspend enrichment Monday and said the U.S. must recognize Iran's "nuclear right" before the country would dispel concerns about its program.

He also said Obama would have to alter the current administration's confrontational policy toward Iran to overcome the present impasse.

"Otherwise an old issue requires and old stance," said Qashqavi.

AP



 
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