Peace activist claims Iran keen to compromise on nuclear issue, Cheney, Rumsfeld allegedly block negotiations

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Veteran anti-nuclear activist and journalist Praful Bidwai claims that while Iranian authorities "will not sacrifice [Iran's] rights under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) to engage in peaceful activities, including uranium enrichment for power generation", they are also "keen to reach a deal or compromise on the nuclear issue" and "are also working diplomatic channels to let it be known that Tehran wants talks which will lead to a peaceful resolution of the nuclear issue."

The alternative news website Raw Story published a story on April 20 that alleged United States vice-president Dick Cheney and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld have obstructed the progress of diplomatic discussions which could help solve the conflict between the United States and Iran. The conflict involves the alleged plan of attack on Iran led by the United States, and Iran's alleged intention to develop nuclear weapons. Diplomatic relations between the United States and Iran have remained suspended since 1980, following the Iranian hostage crisis.

The website alleges that information from several different unnamed sources claim that expatriate arms dealer Manucher Ghorbanifar, a key figure in the Iran-Contra Affair, has been ordered by US authorities to monitor and report on "any interaction and attempts at negotiations between Iranian officials and US ambassador to Iraq, Zalmay Khalilzad." Raw Story also claims that sources "close to the UN Security Council", a "high ranking intelligence official" and another "intelligence source" attributed the failure of the recent attempts at direct contacts between Khalilzad and Iranian officials as "part of an ongoing attempt by Cheney and Rumsfeld to squash diplomatic activities". The claims of the Internet publication's allegations have not yet been independently verified.

In addition, the Raw Story also claims that US House of Representatives Intelligence Committee Chairman Peter Hoekstra (R-MI) "approved using Ghorbanifar as an intermediary" and "attended at least one meeting in Paris with Curt Weldon (R-PA) and Harold Rhode to meet with Ghorbanifar."

Bidwai states that Dr. Hasan Rowhani, a member of the Supreme National Security Council chosen by Iranian head of state Ayatollah Khamenei, as saying that Iran is prepared to suspend its uranium enrichment for a short time.

On April 18, when asked whether US action against Iran could include a strike using nuclear weapons, U.S. President George W. Bush answered "All options are on the table. We want to solve this issue diplomatically and we're working hard to do so."

Wikipedia Learn more about Politics of Iran, Iran-Contra Affair on Wikipedia.

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