The Iranian proposal of 2003

This fact is worthy of repeat.  In May of 2003 Iran sent a proposal to Bush that Bush refused to reply to and even scolded the messenger.  This, to me shows me which side is really serious about seeking to make things better in the world.  You judge for yourself:

“The Iranian proposal arrived via a Swiss intermediary just days after President Bush had declared “Mission Accomplished” in the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, Slavin and Parsi write. In it, Iran offered to open its nuclear program to inspections; to halt its support for Hamas and Islamic Jihad in the Palestinian territories; to help disarm the Shiite militia Hezbollah in Lebanon; and to move toward recognition of Israel.”

“The U.S., in return, would end economic sanctions and recognize that Iran had legitimate security concerns. This “grand bargain,” as one U.S. diplomat called it, had been cleared by Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, according to Slavin and Parsi. That alone gave the proposal gravitas.”

“The Bush government never bothered to reply.”

http://www.chicagotribune.com/features/booksmags/chi-iranbw22dec22,1,7059763.story?ctrack=2&cset=true

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7 Responses to “The Iranian proposal of 2003”


  1. 1 jonolan December 22, 2007 at 7:04 pm

    Do you have any evidence of the validity of this post? I’d like to see some sources, please. I’m not disputing it, but I’d like both confirmation and more details of the terms if possible.

  2. 2 theradicalmormon December 23, 2007 at 1:32 am

    Jonolan,

    Here’s a Washington Post article on the subject:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/06/17/AR2006061700727_pf.html

    And here’s a PDF from armscontrol.org that lays out in ouline form the proposal basics:

    http://www.armscontrol.org/pdf/2003_Spring_Iran_Proposal.pdf

  3. 3 jonolan December 23, 2007 at 6:53 pm

    While the document was completely untenable and could never be agreed to, I think it should have been responded to. This was an opening brief and there was a lot of room for working out the details.

    So…VP Cheney (bleeped) up – no surprise.

  4. 4 jonolan December 23, 2007 at 7:29 pm

    Sorry for the2nd post but I need to comment further.

    Ignoring this letter – if it’s genuine – may have been the biggest military and political blunder of the last century or so.

    “Shock and Awe” worked better than ever hoped for and Cheney – reports pint to him being the one who dismissed it – utterly failed to capitalize on it.

  5. 5 theradicalmormon December 23, 2007 at 8:26 pm

    Jonolan,
    What is untenable about the document?

  6. 6 jonolan December 23, 2007 at 8:29 pm

    The vague nature of Iran’s interests combined with including the Stage 2 part which included form commitment and time lines. This would make the document untenable as a working draft.

    It was however an “opening brief” and more than worth pursuing. The US and Iran could have done the Stage 1 meeting part and worked out the details for Stage 2 at that time – i.e. engaged in diplomacy.

    Sorry to have been unclear as to my meaning. I was freaked out and still processing.

  7. 7 theradicalmormon December 23, 2007 at 8:40 pm

    Ah, thanks for the clarification. I appreciate your analysis. Though we see this as a huge blunder and a missed opportunity to improve relations and help make things better in the middle-east, I can’t help but to feel that the Bush administration turned the proposal down because of a pre-planned agenda which included military action against Iran from the get-go. You know, part of that Project for a New American Century sort of thing (“belief that America should seek to preserve and extend its position of global leadership by maintaining the preeminence of U.S. military forces”, and the “full spectrum dominance” thing).


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