Monday, May 26, 2008

Carter: Iran a 'rational' nation; U.S. should establish friendly ties

Iran's FNA is reporting that former US President Jimmy Carter is urging Washington to resume friendly ties with Iran, a country he calls "rational."

Speaking at the Hay Festival yesterday, Carter suggested that the US should also provide nuclear power technology and fuel to Iran "as a show of goodwill."

"What happens if, in three years' time, Iran has a nuclear weapon? I'm not sure that is going to happen, but if it does, what do we do? They are rational people like all of us in this room. Do they want to commit suicide? I would guess not. So what we have to do is talk with them now and say to them we want to be their friends..."

"The United States must let Iran know that we want to give them fuel and everything they need for a non-military nuclear program. Twenty-five years ago we cut off trading with Iran. We've got to resume trading to show Iran we are friends..."

Carter also criticized President George Bush, saying it was a "serious mistake and terrible departure" from the actions of previous US presidents not to engage with countries with which they differed.

"The president of the administration in Washington is the first one to have ever done this and I think we close off ourselves from any sort of rational accommodation of the views of other parties in order to reach out on major goals..."

Carter makes Neville Chamberlain look like Genghis Kahn.

Update: Carl has two interesting stories involving related coverage of Carter's speech: "George Bush might even face prosecution on war crimes charges once he left office" and "Israel has 150 nukes. Israel's security is my prime concern."

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