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IRAN: Tehran says it doesn't 'recognize' two-week nuke deadline

Southafrica

With days before a two-week deadline is set to arrive, Iran appears unlikely to give a definitive yes-or-no answer to Western demands that it stop expanding its nuclear program as a precursor to preliminary negotiations.

On Wednesday evening, Iranian foreign minister Manouchehr Mottaki gave a crystal-clear answer to the question of whether Iran would respond according to the Western timeframe. "Iran does not recognize the deadline for the nuclear issue," he told reporters. "We answer to the incentives package whenever it fits us."

European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana along with U.S., European, Russian and Chinese envoys  met with Iranian nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili in Geneva on July 19 to discuss a package of economic and political incentives Iran could obtain if it stopped enriching uranium. At the very least, they wanted Iran to stop increasing its uranium enrichment.

No one's really surprised about Iran's refusal to respond...

... Iranians are famous for being hard bargainers as well as tricky diplomats. Iran's current rulers are ultra-nationalists and pride themselves on their feisty independence. They've managed to weld Iran's nuclear ambitions to its peoples' dreams of grandeur. They've tried to turn their position on the nuclear issue into a symbol of scrappy Third World defiance against the designs of the world's rich and elite nations.

And they get prickly when anyone, especially the West, starts imposing ultimatums.

"Backing down one step in the face of the arrogance will encourage it to come one step forward," Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said on Wednesday, according to the Islamic Republic News Agency. "The idea that retreating and giving up right stances and words will make the arrogance [the U.S.] change its policy is totally wrong and baseless."

Russian President Vladimir Putin has consistently warned the West not to back Iran into a corner with threats and sanctions. It's not that he's got a lot of love for the Islamic Republic. He says he just doesn't think such tactics will persuade Iran to give up its enrichment of uranium, a precursor to building either a native nuclear power industry or an atomic bomb.

Even the U.S. is backing away from a strict interpretation of the two-week deadline. "I didn't count the days. [The deadline]'s coming up soon," State Department spokesman Sean McCormack told reporters.

Iran's ambassador to the United Nations' arms control branch, Asghar Soltanieh, said today that Iran won't suspend, but it wants to keep talking. Many Western diplomats wonder whether talking will eventually lead to a suspension or merely stretch out the negotiations until the Bush administration runs its course and Iran further masters the enrichment cycle.

— Borzou Daragahi in Beirut and Ramin Mostaghim in Tehran

Photo: Iranian nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili (second from right) meets with South African foreign minister Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma (in headscarf) on the sidelines of the Non-Aligned Movement conference in Tehran this week as Iran tries to rally international support for its nuclear program. Credit: Abolfazl Salmanzadeh / Fars News Agency

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"Backing down one step in the face of the arrogance will encourage it to come one step forward... the idea that retreating and giving up right stances and words will make the arrogance change its policy is totally wrong and baseless."

I totally agree. The only way to end Iran's nuclear ambitions is to do so militarily; giving up right stances and giving them incentives and concessions will just encourage them to follow that path more in the future. Anything else is just spitting into the breeze, allowing them to bide time until they get a more favorable spineless leader for America who is more concerned with his foreign image than protecting our country.

IRAN - ISRAEL AND INDIA-PAKISTAN SHOULD CALL FOR THE ABOLITION OF NUCLEAR POWER AND WEAPONS

IRAN AND ISRAEL SHOULD CALL FOR THE ABOLITION OF NUCLEAR POWER AND WEAPONS-FARFETCHED?ON JULY 13 2008 DOZENS OF MIDDLE EASTERN STATES CALLED FOR THIS INCLUDING NO BIO-CHEM WEAPONS IN MID-EAST

Mediterranean union wants to rid Mideast of WMD

By ANGELA CHARLTON – 6 days ago

In a final declaration, Israel, Syria and the Palestinians along with countries across Europe, the Middle East and North Africa agreed to "pursue a mutually and effectively verifiable Middle East Zone free of weapons of mass destruction."

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Bush Administration is complaining about Iran's nuclear program while at the same time they spending billions of dollar on nuclear weapons development. Iran's so called "nuclear program" has been an excuse, the same excuse we used against Saddam Hussein for having "WMD". We are approaching Iran the same way we approached Iraq. Sanctions, Bombing it's nuclear facilities and then going to war. You don't need to read the newspaper and watch the news to get information about Iran. Just go back 6-10 years from now, and read the old newspapers about Iraq. Replace the word "Iraq" with "Iran".

"Iran's current rulers are ultra-nationalists"
hmm, I would say they do a good job of pretending to be nationalist. As a friend living in Iran put it " I dont like this government and hardly believe in what they say but they present this nuclear program in such a way that even I tend to be proud of it!" Not long ago the word "mellat-e Iran" (Iranian nation) was a taboo in Iranian leadership's vocabulary.

Listen up people!!!
Isreal & the U.S will attack Iran after Obama wins the 2008 Presidential Election! Bush is waiting to give McCain a chance to win over all or most white voters!

La Allaha Ela Allah; there is no super power but God.
We must break down the idols one by one.

We need to understand the inner stories of Iranian politics I have recently come accross an interesting blog which I dont see in your list. www.ebtekarm.blogspot.com
I think its necessary to read their views and understand what they have to say.

I think U.S should forget about putting Iranians in a corner. U.S should worry about all the American lives they are lossing in Iraq, Afghanistan .

U.S should accept that they need to back down from Iran and start dealing with them in a constructive manner. Who has given the right to the American government to police the world anyway. I know that U.S is a super power but that doesn't mean that he could push people around.

Unfortunately Iran is NOT Iraq or Afghanistan. If Israel attacks any site in Iran, ALL the Iranian people around the world will rally behind the unpopular regime. Of course the weaker powers do not fight justly, like Americans. They will just blow things up around the world. And U.S has given them enough excuses to do what ever they want.

Now if they approach Iran in a respectful way, they sure will get better result. Perhaps Mr. Cheney of setting up Haliburton Co in Iran again will happen.

Your assertion that: Iran's current rulers are ultra-nationalists - is utterly incorrect.

The father of the Islamic Republic, Khomenei, once said during his speeches that Iranian nationalists are the enemy of the Islamic Republic - which is obviously very correct.

Please be so kind as to explain how a theocracy (government of God) can be nationalistic, in a country that has had a long history prior to Islam.

If anything, the Islamic Republic has tried to obliterate any traces of pre-Islamic customs, traditions and history. Have you already forgotten the regime tried to get rid of the Iranian New Year only to be confronted by to the point where the Islamic Republic had to relent?

How about when Iranians demonstrated in front of the UAE embassy in Tehran, for defending the name 'Persian Gulf' and got arrested by the Islamic Republic?

This regime is theocratic, not nationalistic!

"I didn't count the days. [The deadline]'s coming up soon," State Department spokesman Sean McCormack told reporters."

They gave the deadline on July 19. The deadline is up tomorrow...

How weak can one possibly look.

I'm not sure if I agree with the writer stating Iranians' "dreams of grandeur" as a support for the nuclear program. You only need to look around in this country (US) to see not grandeur, but grandiosity and self-centeredness to extreme, which bring with them arrogance and the false sense of mastery over the world. Read the history of just the 20th century and you'll see these are not good signs for a superpower. It's about time US showed a softer side not only with Iran, but with its own people and around the world.

I'm sure both the US and Israel ideas of what to do with Iran is heavily impacted by Russia backing them.

Russia and Iran are heavily linked economically and turning Iran into a chaotic warzone (like we did to Iraq) would take a major stab into Russia's economy and plans.

Do we really want to fully enrage Russia ? Not a chance.

I don't think Russia would nuke us over it, but we'd of made a mortal enemy who'd make sure to make life a pain for us for years to come. Probably messing around with Europe and Asia trying to screw over our economy the best they can.

It seems obvious that Iran is not going to stop enriching uranium, they are simply buying time. I think they are going to produce weapons grade uranium and give it to some terrorist group(making it hard to determine that Iran is actually responsible) that will use it to bomb either EU or USA. I can't see them irradiating a site(Israel) that is holy to Muslims. After deploying the weapon, it will be announced that there are more in EU and/or USA that will be detonated if the west does not stay out of the MIddle East.

wow tough sanctions, whats the point of making an optional dead line?

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