You are herecontent / Bush Administration Refuses to Talk to or Listen to Their Next Targeted Victims

Bush Administration Refuses to Talk to or Listen to Their Next Targeted Victims

Rice: Iran Letter Doesn't Resolve Standoff
By Anne Gearan / Associated Press

NEW YORK - Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice dismissed a letter that Iran's president sent to President Bush on Monday, saying the first direct communication from an Iranian leader in 27 years does not help resolve the standoff over Tehran's disputed nuclear program.

Iran's top nuclear negotiator called the surprise letter a new "diplomatic opening" between the two countries, but Rice said it was not.

"This letter is not the place that one would find an opening to engage on the nuclear issue or anything of the sort," the top U.S. diplomat said in an interview with The Associated Press. "It isn't addressing the issues that we're dealing with in a concrete way."

Rice said the letter from Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was 17 or 18 pages long and covered history, philosophy and religion.

Rice's comments were the most detailed response from the United States to the letter, the first from an Iranian head of state to an American president since the 1979 hostage crisis at the U.S. Embassy in Tehran.

She would not discuss the contents in detail but made clear that the United States would not change its tack on Iran.

"There's nothing in here that would suggest that we're on any different course than we were before we got the letter," Rice said.

The United States has had no diplomatic ties and almost no economic relationship with Iran since the storming of the embassy and the kidnapping of U.S. diplomats.

Rice was using a two-day trip to the United Nations to confer on the international response to Iran, but she said she expected no quick action on sanctions or other measures.

The letter, which was not made public, appeared timed to blunt the U.S. drive for a U.N. Security Council vote this week to restrain the Islamic regime's nuclear ambitions. It was a striking change after the fiery Ahmadinejad's campaign to vilify Washington and its allies as bullies.

Iran contends it has the right to process uranium as fuel in nuclear reactors to generate electricity. The United States, Britain and France are concerned that the program is a cover for making nuclear weapons.

White House press secretary Scott McClellan said Bush had been briefed on the letter, which the White House received Monday through the Swiss Embassy in Tehran. He would not comment on whether it was actually signed by the Iranian president.

"It does not appear to do anything to address the nuclear concerns" of the international community, McClellan told reporters traveling on Air Force One with Bush to Florida.

The Iranian government spokesman who disclosed the communication did not mention the nuclear standoff and said the missive spoke to the larger U.S.-Iranian conflict.

The linchpin to any better understanding between Washington and Tehran, however, would be movement toward a solution of the nuclear issue.

According to government spokesman Gholam-Hossein Elham, the letter proposed "new solutions for getting out of international problems and the current fragile situation of the world."

Elham declined to reveal more, stressing "it is not an open letter." And when he was asked if the letter could lead to direct U.S.-Iranian negotiations, he replied: "For the time being, it's just a letter."

In Turkey, Ali Larijani, Iran's top nuclear negotiator, said the Iranians were looking for a positive response but would be patient.

"Perhaps it could lead to a new diplomatic opening. It needs to be given some time," Larijani said in a television interview. He cautioned that the "tone of the letter is not something like softening."

The United States has publicly sought renewed contact with Iran through its ambassador in Iraq, Zalmay Khalilzad, who has been authorized to speak to Iranian officials about security in Iraq.

U.S. officials say the talks await selection of a new Iraqi government and were to be limited to Iraqi security issues. Such meetings would provide an opportunity to broaden discussions about the U.S.-Iranian relationship.

Before the Ahmadinejad letter was announced, Bush said he was paying close attention to threats made against Israel by Ahmadinejad, who has questioned Israel's right to exist and said the country should be wiped off the map.

"I think that it's very important for us to take his words very seriously," Bush told the German newspaper Bild on Friday, according to a transcript released Sunday. "When people speak, it is important that we listen carefully to what they say and take them seriously."

Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki delivered the letter to the Swiss ambassador Monday, ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi told the AP. The Swiss Embassy acts as a U.S. interest section in the Iranian capital.

The letter appeared as the lead item on several Iranian television and radio news shows throughout the day. The official IRNA announced the letter and carried international reaction to it. Iran's only evening daily, the state-owned Ettalaat, carried a large story on its front page under the headline: "Important letter from Ahmadinejad to the American president."

On Tuesday, Ahmadinejad travels to Indonesia, where Foreign Minister Hassan Wirajuda said, "We support nuclear development for peaceful purposes, especially energy, but we consistently object to nuclear weapons proliferation."

The United States is backing efforts by Britain and France to win Security Council approval for a U.N. resolution that would threaten possible further measures if Iran does not suspend uranium enrichment. If taken to sufficient levels, the process can produce fuel for nuclear warheads.

Russia and China, the two other veto-holding members of the Security Council members, oppose sanctions.


Associated Press writer Nasser Karimi in Tehran contributed to this report.


Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

We want to read the letter before you guys bomb them!

This administration has no intention of opening any discussions that might lead to a non-military solution.

As we all know, the GW Bush ship of state that was so
hermetically sealed through 2001-2002,has come to
suffer so many leaks that it is sinking and the rats
are deserting it, as the saying goes. I try to keep
what comes my way to myself until at least one open
source intimates the same thing. With NSA trying to
make-up for the security specifics which it is not
competent to do with the broad sweeps it need not do,
it is only Las Vegas odds that my "leakes" will
otherwise be caught. Besides, context to give meanings
to scoops will have to come from far more "in" people
than me.

Please allow me to put before you information coming
to my ear regularly from Wash DC little birds, hitting
me in both the front and back of my head: Mr. Bush was
never in FULL control of his government. All through
his years of formation, his caring father sought to
keep his son confident by literally hiring others to
do his worrying for him. Thus, as a young man with a
scandalous record and no other accomplishments to
compensate for it, Mr. Bush turned himself over to
some others, leaving it to them to worry about his
political career. As for his existing/missing past,
Mr. Bush totally obliterated it with the blinding
glare of his Christian Salvation. It's not that he
chose this task for himself but rather that his
professional "worriers" did. What this has produced is
a most amiable and unassuming mediocrity who is not in
the slightest ashamed, worried or in need to
compensate for who and what he is. I cannot tell you
how much thousands of influential Republicans were
totally charmed by that in him. It was his "I am what
I am and I'm not worried about it" type of even keel
"compassionate conservative" image that is so
unassuming that made so many of us see him as the
President who will end stress in America.

A group of foreign policy experts calling themselves
the "Vulcans" gathered around him and found him so
soothing that they often had to remember that they
were dealing with the future President of the United
States. Because of the relationship with his dad, he
chose to go with some of the people among the
Republican luminaries who least got along with his
father. To that end Cheney was key and Scowcroft
something of an anti-Christ. As Cheney and Rumsfeld
filled their offices with neocons, they liberated Mr.
Bush more and more from worries. Karl Rove took care
of politics and by the end of 2002 had achieved great
electoral successes.

At that time, the Vulcans pushed two issues: (1)
leapfrog West Europe and build a new NATO around East
Europe; then, tie the old Europe to this vital new
Europe NATO. (2) Encircle China so as to force it to
behave properly in trade. The neocons wanted a Mideast
focus, as did their representatives in power, the
worriers, Cheney and Rumsfeld but the Vulcans ruled
then and this was not to be. 9/11 ended the Vulcans'
agenda. The rest is history. But since that date, so
exclusively theirs did Rumsfeld, Cheney and the
neocons consider the Bush presidency-- that Bush ended
still ended up with this "What me worry?" way about
him that it made you think that no matter what you did
he would never take it as stepping on his toes; one
never felt ill-at-ease bulldozing policies (unless, as
in the case of Sec. Treasury O'Neill, Cheney deemed
you un-kindred-spirit). As the US stumbled into a
seeming success in Afghanistan, the neocons never
could accept Bush's reluctance to go to war in Iraq as
an obstacle. The Pentagon proceeded to present the
President with a fait accompli and he just went with
it, following his worriers instead of worrying that
they were taking over his foreign policy. From this
bunch for example, I kept hearing that Powell was
there to make a couple of speeches as Sec. of State
and then it is good-by. In fact, when in his last
meeting with Mr. Bush Powell warned him to worry about
a Cheney-Rumsfeld takeover of his foreign policy,
Powell failed to appreciate how NOT worrying was the
important operative term for the President.

Bush wanted to take over the White House in his second
term but was faced with: "O.K., we'll leave and take
the Christian Right with us, then you can worry about
what to do next." And so, to avoid worry, Bush
continued as prisoner of his first term. I am reminded
of Brezhnev asking his Pravda editors-speech writers:
what is this "Brezhnev Doctrine"? They urged him not
worry about it and just deliver the speech. He did.
And so, the next time the Presidium met it had to make
policies in accord with the Brezhnev policy he himself
has enunciated. That's how you get policy by
speechwriters. Ditto Bush!

But now worry has infected Bush, what with the polls,
the Plame case, Iraq, Katrina, oil prices etc, etc.
And so, Bush can no longer escape worrying. His only
option for avoiding worry is to return to the able men
of his dad. Swallowing pride is easier than worrying
for him because Bush is not conceited.

I tell all this because, if I am right, and I wouldn't
type all this if I were not confident, Bush will
decrease the Iraq conflict and will not attack Iran
because that's the only way he can avoid worrying.
Israel has read him very well and realizes that it
better work out something with HAMAS and the other
Arabs if it doesn't want to be a source of worry to
him. Sometimes big decisions are made for very small
reasons, that's what makes history so much more
exciting than science or study of the cosmos.

Daniel E. Teodoru

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.


Support This Site


Get free books and gear when you become a supporter.



Speaking Truth to Empire


Families United


Ray McGovern


Julie Varughese


Financial supporters of this site can choose to be listed here.



Find the perfect Purple Bridesmaid Dresses for your bridesmaids from




Ca-Dress Long Prom Dresses Canada
Ca Dress Long Prom Dresses on

Buy Books

Get Gear

The log-in box below is only for bloggers. Nobody else will be able to log in because we have not figured out how to stop voluminous spam ruining the site. If you would like us to have the resources to figure that out please donate. If you would like to receive occasional emails please sign up. If you would like to be a blogger here please send your resume.
This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
Enter the characters shown in the image.