Europeans offer Iran Deal
Iranians say Program Peaceful
Over Bush’s initial objections, the Europeans are going to try offering Iran further incentives to abandon its civilian nuclear energy research program. The attempt comes in part through the mediation of the Russians. Bush’s inability to get the Russians and Chinese to agree to condemn Iran has forced the change in strategy.
Iran’s top nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani also said that Iran’s program is purely civilian. He said that a Russian offer to enrich Iran’s uranium for it under controlled conditions has not been rejected and could still be adopted.
Israel’s military chief of staff, General Dan Halutz, told Deputy PM Shimon Peres to cool it with the threats against Iran. He appears to be worried that belligerant talk from Israel will harm attempts by the Europeans to get Iran to give up its civilian nuclear research program.
Although Peres says that Ahmadinejad threatened to destroy Israel, he did not in fact menace Israel with a military attack. Ahmadinejad views Israel the way President Gerald Ford viewed the Soviet Union. He wishes it would vanish as a regime, but he is not prepared to launch a military attack to accomplish that goal. Since Iran sits in the United Nations with Israel, Ahmadinejad is in contravention of the UN charter in rejecting Israel’s legitimacy. But wishing a regime would fall is not the same thing as militarily attacking it.
It is often said that Ahmadinejad is more dangerous because he is a millenarian, i.e. he believes in the near advent of the messianic Twelfth Imam, the promised one of the Shiites. But in fact, most millenarians are fatalists, and are willing to wait passively for God’s will to intervene in history. So, his belief in the near advent of the last days may actually make him less dangerous than a practical, hardnosed secularist might be. Besides, he cannot be dangerous if he is not a commander of the armed forces, which the president in Iran is not.
Iran’s Ahmadinejad, in Indonesia, insisted again that Iran’s nuclear energy research is purely for peaceful purposes. He said that the Internationl Atomic Energy Agency had spent 2,000 hours doing inspections. He shrugged off the Bush administration’s dismissal of his letter to the American president.
Ahmadinejad’s letter to Bush sheds some light on his mindset, says the LA Times.