Iranian Paradox: Negotiation Without Compromise
Thursday, Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad paradoxically said that Iran will negotiate but will not compromise regarding its nuclear program. “We are ready to hold negotiations for removing doubts and misunderstandings but no one is allowed to make a compromise on the people’s (nuclear) rights and ignore the laws (in the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty),” he said.
Ahmadinejad rightly acknowledged that it is a matter of trust regarding Iran and nuclear technology, but refused to accept that as a principle for attempting to halt its program, saying, “Countries of the world will not accept a monopoly by certain powers of nuclear weapons while others are refused access to the nuclear fuel cycle simply because they cannot be trusted and could use this for non-peaceful purposes.”
Within the same speech, where Ahmadinejad also declared the “age of empires and emperors” over, he invited “bullying powers and dictators of the world to monotheism and justice. We urge bullying powers to end their crimes, cruelty and aggression.” Iran and others – such as al-Qaeda – seek to establish a global caliphate that would enforce ‘monotheism,’ governed by a single caliph.
Ahmadinejad appears to be making the rounds at home, delivering speeches on the heels of his trip to the West, which included an incendiary address to the United Nations General Assembly. The state-run Iranian media outlets lauded his messages which are reported as being well received at home in Iran.
Regardless of past negotiations failures, Javier Solana’s talks with Ali Larijani have caused pause in Washington’s press for sanctions against Iran for ignoring the August 31 Security Council deadline for ceasing enrichment activity. Of the EU-Iran negotiations that Ahmadinejad said will not include compromise, State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said, “There may be an opportunity here, there may be a little opening if we just give the Iranians a little time and space. Perhaps they will come through with a positive answer.”
While Ahmadinejad was stating Iran’s stance on negotiating without compromising, the head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization and Iranian vice-president, Reza Aqazadeh, also made it clear that negotiations will not include any discussion of the Bushehr power plant currently under Russian construction. Aqazadeh added that, with regard to the Bushehr plant, “Russia will support Iran.” Russia is contracted to complete the Bushehr construction for approximately US$1 billion.