Obama Signaled to Iran US Would Accept Civilian Nuclear Program

President Obama quietly told Iran, through Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, that the United States would accept an Iranian civilian nuclear program if Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei can substantiate recent claims that Iran “will never pursue nuclear weapons.”

Erdogan visited Khamenei last week, but a few days prior to that he met with Obama in Seoul, Korea, at which point they discussed Obama’s message to Iran, according to Washington Post columnist David Ignatius.

U.S. intelligence concludes that Iran halted its nuclear weapons program nearly a decade ago and has to date made no moves to restart it. Still, the U.S. has led a harsh, punitive sanctions regime in large part to satisfy a belligerent Israel who has threatened preventive military strike repeatedly.

Obama’s promise that he would accept an Iranian civilian nuclear program is a bit strange. Iran, under international laws and the treaties it has signed, does indeed have a right to develop a civilian nuclear program. Obama granting Iran that right, while they already have it, is an indication of just how lopsided the relationship is.

Obama did not specify to Erdogan or the Iranian leadership just what kind of deal or method of verification he would prefer, but he did urge Iran to take advantage of this window of opportunity to begin negotiations. Talks are set to start on April 13, although there has been some haggling over the venue. The U.S. and Turkey proposed to meet in Istanbul, while Iran suggested either Iraq or China.

The issue of Syria was also brought up by Obama. Erdogan told Obama he would press Iran to reduce its support for the Bashar al-Assad regime. While there are some minor signs that Iran heeded these recommendations, both Turkey and the U.S. continue to aid the opposition.

Last 5 posts by John Glaser

Author: John Glaser

John Glaser writes for Antiwar.com.

  • Aarky

    It sounds like a very encouraging move by the President, but after the past treachery and weasel actions by the WH and State, Turkey will probably be skeptical of the US's intentions. The US sabotaged an agreement that Brazil-Turkey arranged to switch the 20% U-235 that Iran had processed for a return of needed fuel rods with 20% U-235 for a medical reactor. Obama seems not to realize that the Zionists at State will work hard to sabotage any potential agreement that creates rapprochment with Iran.

    • Yellen

      Only the President can order the Troops out.The State Department can not do that,the Congress can not do that and the Military,itself,can not do that.That is why,above all else,a stable mind is needed in the White House.There are three countries that the U.S. can not go to war with.Russia,it would be the end of the human race,China,it would be the end of civilization and Iran,it would be the end of the flow of oil from the Middle East.If this report is true,then the only thing that could cause a worry is whether the Secret Service is up to the job of protecting the President.America and the world can not afford another JFK.

  • Duglarri

    The Zionists are going to crucify Obama for making this kind of an offer. He's obviously failed to recognize the treacherous, evil nature of the Iranian state, and that allowing them to have a civilian program is unacceptable. If he won't attack them to prevent it, they'll arrange for another President who will.

    This is far worse than "throwing Israel under the bus". By agreeing to allow Iran a civilian nuclear program, he all but guarantees its destruction. At least, that's what they'll say.

  • persnipoles

    The nature of the 'substantiation' … is likely the same as how you would 'substantiate' you have no intent to turn people into frogs, that you aren't thinking impure thoughts, that you've not had intercourse with The Devil (lately). If those talks stay private, then there'll be less scrutiny about the Kafka-esque nature of his demands. Unlike, e.g., the treatment of another whose intent has long been substantiated:
    criminalstate.com/tag/robert-f-kennedy "Kennedy’s letter to Ben-Gurion was anything but friendly. The words he chose were drawn not from diplomacy but from the instructions that a judge gives a jury on criminal culpability. In that brusque letter, the U.S. commander-in-chief insisted that this purported ally prove “beyond a reasonable doubt” that the Zionist enclave was not developing nuclear weapons."

  • John Ellis

    Paid actors do — as paid actors are paid to do

    As it was with JFK, so it is with Obama, the corporate rich hand pick and campaign fund each and every President and this fact is self-evident in Obama’s every action. So, it all depends on corporate profit and in about six seconds we could have another war if it will maximize profit.

  • curmudgeonvt

    I wonder how belligerent Israel might be if they were told that if they attack Iran on their own…they will BE on their own.

  • John_Muhammad

    As a gesture of goodwill, the President needs to order the Fleet to sail out of the Persian Gulf effective immediately.

    This turn of events is puzzling, though- why now? Does Obama realize the tide of public opinion is turning against war (and indeed, against the US subservience to Israel that spawned this mess) and he's currying favor with the masses in preparation for a larger push for re-election? Or is he doing all of this to fake out the anti-war front before dropping the hammer on Iran? Time will tell.

  • baz

    israel will NEVER allow any kind of deal or rapprochement to be made between Iran and the US.

    Israeli spies are standing pat in the white house and state dept to torpedo any kind of positive development between the two countries.

    this will never happen. Iran can give up nuclear energy completely and israel will still insist that washington take a maximum hard line

  • Nathan

    “…if Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei can substantiate recent claims that Iran “will never pursue nuclear weapons.”

    What do you expect to hear from a BSer? The answer is only BS.

    First of all, it is not a “recent claim”. It’s an old one, and has been repeated since. Further, Iran does not have to substantiate anything because IAEA inspectors are all over the place.

    Second, this guy wants Iran to prove a negative, just like Bush who wanted Saddam to prove that he didn’t have WMD. Sorry Mike.

    Third,t he world knows by now, let alone a president who has the support of 16 intelligence agencies., that the nuclear issue is just an excuse. The world also knows that Iran is neither enriching uranium to a high grade (90% or more), nor is engaged in making a nuclear bomb. The

  • Nathan

    The question is: why then does our president make such a statement?

    One answer is: He’s aware that the overwhelming majority in this country are pitifully ignorant of what is happening anywhere in the world, and that all they care about is: Stomach, Sports, and Sex—not necessarily in that order.

    The other answer is: He wants to show those folks that I referred to above (because the smart folks don’t buy BS), that he is even ready to compromise. What a sick joke!

  • MoT

    Wait a minute now. This is the same rat who has routinely said one thing and then did exactly the other. I wouldn't trust him. He's so crooked you'd have to screw him into the ground to bury him.