Thursday, January 18, 2007

Wilkerson: Administration Rejected Iran Overtures in 2003

In an interview on the BBC News program Newsnight, former senior aide to Colin Powell Lawrence Wilkerson said that Vice President Cheney and other ideologues at the White House rejected Iran's offers of concessions in return for talks in 2003 despite enthusiasm for the proposals at the State Department. Washington Snubbed Offer

Tehran proposed ending support for Lebanese and Palestinian militant groups and helping to stabilise Iraq following the US-led invasion.

Offers, including making its nuclear programme more transparent, were conditional on the US ending hostility.

But Vice-President Dick Cheney's office rejected the plan, the official said.

The offers came in a letter, seen by Newsnight, which was unsigned but which the US state department apparently believed to have been approved by the highest authorities.

In return for its concessions, Tehran asked Washington to end its hostility, to end sanctions, and to disband the Iranian rebel group the Mujahedeen-e-Khalq and repatriate its members.

But as soon as it got to the White House, the old mantra of 'We don't talk to evil'... reasserted itself
Lawrence Wilkerson
Former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein had allowed the rebel group to base itself in Iraq, putting it under US power after the invasion.

One of the then Secretary of State Colin Powell's top aides told the BBC the state department was keen on the plan - but was over-ruled.

"We thought it was a very propitious moment to do that," Lawrence Wilkerson told Newsnight.

"But as soon as it got to the White House, and as soon as it got to the Vice-President's office, the old mantra of 'We don't talk to evil'... reasserted itself."

Observers say the Iranian offer as outlined nearly four years ago corresponds pretty closely to what Washington is demanding from Tehran now.

Once again we see the Administration's preference for dogmatic and destructive consistency instead of flexibility and negotiation with the goal of minimizing casualties.

I hope Congress's various Foreign Relations and Intelligence Committees investigate these allegations to the fullest extent possible. Not only has the Administration's policies provided fodder for Ahmadinejad's extremist diatribes, but they have set in motion the distinct possibility that the Administration may choose to launch a unilateral pre-emptive attack upon Iran under a pretext of nuclear threat, a threat which, if it could even be conceded exists, could have been obviated by merely agreeing to talk to Iran as long ago as 2003.


Mosquito said...

The media is once again doing what it did pre-Iraq invasion....NOT asking the questions that must be asked, NOT doing the analysis that must be done, NOT doing their job--i.e. investigative journalism.

Once again, Bush, Cheney and the war hungry neo cons are planning ANOTHER ill fated invasion hoping another shock and awe bombing campaign against Iran is going to save their cheeky butts.

Funny thing about neocons...they do use democracy in their PR but they don't believe in democracy. They believe "they" know what's best for everyone...and isn't it convenient that "they" (and their elite cronies) end up making huge war profits? War profiteering is a long time Bush family tradition (starting in WWII when granddaddy Bush made a fortune working with the Nazi's).

I don't think the American public is buying and resoundingly we continue to say OUT OF IRAQ and DON'T INVADE IRAN....


Catzmaw said...

Come now, mosquito, I'm sure all those war profits are a mere coinkidink ... ;)

When I heard Ron Paul declare fervently during yesterday's hearings that he's sure the Administration is going to attack Iran it was a rather unnerving moment. Congress had better move swiftly and strongly to nip that idea in the bud. And you are right. It's ridiculous that this information had to come from the Brits. Where's the followup? Where's the outrage? I keep wishing I could find this liberal fanatic MSM the neocons keep complaining about. Could use me some aggressive liberal MSM, that's for sure.

Anonymous said...

They have learned so much from Iraq that I am sure our war with Iran wil be run much better!

Catzmaw said...

Heh, heh. Yeah, practice makes perfect!