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Iran's Leader to "Consider" Russian President's "Win Win" Offer

Published Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Paris, 17 Oct. (IPS)         As predicted by this news service, it seems that Russian President Vladimir Putin has scored a major diplomatic achievement by convincing Iranian leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenehi to show flexibility on Iranian controversial nuclear crisis.

According to Mr. Ali Larijani, the Secretary of Iranian Supreme Council for National Security (SCNS) and chief nuclear negotiator, Mr. Khamenehi has told the Russian leader that he would “consider” the “special proposal” presented to him by Mr. Putin during their meeting on Tuesday.

Russian President Vladimir Putin had a special message for Iranian officials. The Guide told him he would consider the proposals and let him know the results afterward.

"Russian President Vladimir Putin, in his trip to Tehran, had a special message for Iranian officials, which included the nuclear programme. The Guide told him he would consider the proposals and let him know the results afterward”, Iranian news agencies quoted Mr. Larijani as having told correspondent, adding that the Leader has also told Mr. Putin that he was "determined to provide our country's need for nuclear energy".

Pressed to give them details of the proposals, Mr. Larijani said the public would be informed “on time”, but added that he would be meeting the European Union’s senior Minister for Foreign and Security Affairs Xavier Solana next Tuesday.

Officially, Mr. Putin, the first post-Soviet Union Russian leader to go to Iran, was in Tehran to attend a Summit of the Caspian Sea littoral states, which are, besides Iran and Russia, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan, but he had been endorsed by his major Western partners to discuss with the Iranian leader that nation’s controversial nuclear activities and try to “make them hear the voice of logic and see the realities”.

He met Mr. Khamenehi, the Iranian Leader who takes and dictates the entire important domestic and foreign policy decision after the end of the one day conference and left Tehran for Moscow after a diner hosted at the Iranian Foreign Affairs Ministry by Mr. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Pressed to give them details of the proposals, Mr. Larijani said the public would be informed “on time”, but added that he would be meeting the European Union’s senior Minister for Foreign and Security Affairs Xavier Solana next Tuesday.

Both Solana and ElBaradei are to report to the 5+1 before the end of next month their conclusion on Iran’s acceptance to suspend its uranium enriching activities. If the reports are negative, Iran would then faces more UN sanctions and unilateral actions imposed by the Security Council, this time very probably with blessing from both Moscow and Peking.

Caspian Sea leaders in Tehran Summit
Leaders of Caspian Sea States walking to the conference room in Tehran.

According to informed sources, Mr. Putin has squarely told Mr. Khamenehi that the Americans are serious on attacking Iran and the Security Council also very serious on imposing very strict sanctions on Iran if the country refuses to respond positively to their demands.

“Unfortunately, in the nuclear question, because of our policy, we are in a vulnerable position and therefore obliged to bow to pressures and agree to some concessions to major powers and, among them Russia, a country we need its backing over that issue”, Dr. Sadeq Ziba Kalam, a professor of international affairs at Tehran University told the London and Paris-based independent, pro-reform Iranian internet newspaper Rooz (Day).

“If you don’t show flexibility, then there is nothing Russia can do for you. You have now the choice between exposing your country and the whole of the Middle East-Persian Gulf to a devastating war, or contribute to a durable peace by accepting a win-win proposal”, Mr. Putin is reported to have told his host, and reminding him that it is thanks to him that Washington has been kept at bay and the Security Council’s resolutions withheld.

“The Russian leader must have been very blunt, very frank, very clear to Mr. Khamenehi to the point to shake a man known for his stubbornness and tell him Putin that he would consider his message and proposals”, an Iranian scholar close to the office of the Iranian “Guide” told Iran Press Service on condition of not being named.

In fact, Moscow has always warned Washington and Tel Aviv against using force with Iran, reiterating that any military operation against that country not only would be “counter-productive”, but it would also jeopardize the collective action taken by the Security Council and Germany and will also encourage Tehran to be less cooperative on its nuclear confrontation with the international community.

"It is important that we not only do not use any kind of force but also do not even think about the possibility of using force", Mr. Putin said warned the United States in his ten minutes statements at the Caspian Sea Summit.

"If you don’t show flexibility, then there is nothing Russia can do for you", Putin  is reported to have warned Khamenehi.

“Mr. Putin’s proposals may be our last chance. We shall not ignore it, even if we do not trust the Russians very much”, Mr. Ziba Kalam told Rooz in an interview that was posted on Wednesday.

Among the proposals Mr. Putin might have suggested is the “time out” proposed months ago by Mr. Mohammad Elbaradei, the General Director of the United Nations nuclear watchdog, the Vienna-base International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), by which Iran would suspend its uranium enriching activities and the Security Council shelving the sanctions is has already passed while new round of negotiations are held between Iran and the so-called 5+1, namely the United States, England, France, Russia and China plus Germany, represented by Mr. Solana in the one hand and the talks between Tehran and the time IAEA’s Chief needs for his next report on the finality of Iranian nuclear activities.

In fact, Mr. Larijani, while revealing that Mr. Putin has handed “specific proposals” to Mr. Khamenehi, also indicated that talks with the IAEA would “began soon” and the Agency’s inspectors would return to Tehran.

For his part, Mr. Larijani’s senior deputy, Javad Va’idi, announced on Wednesday that he would also meet the IAEA’s deputy Chief for safeguards issues Oil Heinonen, with whom he had already concluded two rounds of talks that each side described as “positive and fruitful”.

Both men have also indicated that in his talks with Mr. Khamenehi and Mr. Ahmadinejad, Mr. Putin has pledged to complete the 1000 megawatt nuclear power station a Russian company is building for Iran in the Persian Gulf port of Bushehr.

That plant, which has cost the Iranians over 1.2 USD billion instead of the original 600 million, was to be finished in 2000, but it has been constantly delayed by the Russian constructors, claiming financial difficulties due to the Iranian side, while Russian diplomats have made it clear that the real reason is Iranian nuclear impasse with the international community.

Bushehr nuclear powered electricity plant
Construction of Bushehr nuclear-powered plant is delayed by the Russian constructors.

“The Russians will not complete that plant unless they have the green light from Washington and it is wrong to think that they would prefer us to the Americans, regardless of all the differences they have with them”, Mr. Ziba Kalam told Rooz.

Iran says it want to build many more atomic-powered electricity plants and since it can not trust foreign producers, -- the case of Bushehr plant being one good demonstration – it needs to produce their fuel, enriched uranium, at home.

Mr. Putin might have assured the Iranians that to overcome Iranian’s repeated worries over this problem, an international consortium can be create in Russia for enriching uranium for Iran.

Actually, in a “package” offered by the European Troika to the former Iranian nuclear negotiation team that was led by Hojjatoleslam Hasan Rohani, then the Secretary of the SCNS, Britain, France and Germany had proposed the creation of such a consortium as well as their readiness to build Iran’s projected atomic-powered electricity stations.

But the offer had been taken back by the Troika, then Iran’s interlocutors, and all talks with Tehran stopped after Mr. Ahmadinejad replaced Hojjatoleslam Mohammad Khatami as president and immediately resumed nuclear activities, including enriching uranium, that had been voluntarily suspended by the Iranian negotiating team for “confidence-building”.

The major problem is that Mr. Ahmadinejad has made the nuclear technology an “irrevocable” national issue, insisting that “under no circumstances and regardless of the prices Iranians would have to pay”, he will go ahead with the atomic activities.

But this is easy to solve: Since Iran has not accepted, nor rejected Mr. Baradei’s “time out” proposal, one that has been accepted by all Iran’s six major interlocutors, it can easily accept it in order to show its “goodwill” and prove its “sincerity” over the “peaceful” aim of its nuclear programme, one that Washington, Israel and other Western nations insists is for making nuclear weapons destined at annihilating the Jewish State and impose its hegemony of the Middle East and Persian Gulf regions.

Considering the growing unpopularity of Mr. Ahmadinejad, some Iranian and foreign political analysts have suggested that a diplomatic success by Mr. Putin in Tehran would mean “political suicide” for the Iranian fanatic President, making the defeat of Iranian hard liners in the coming Legislative elections next March and his own when his mandate end on 2009 a “certainty”.

George W. Bush
American President George W. Bush said the Islamic Republic must be isolated.

It is for this reason that the media that support the President have been hard at work presenting the Caspian Sea Summit and Mr. Putin’s coming to Tehran as a “great victory” for Mr. Ahmadinejad’s diplomacy.

“Considering the atmosphere creating of the United States and some other Western countries, trying to show that Iran is isolated, the Tehran meeting was a big success for the diplomacy of the Iranian Government’s diplomacy”, commented the hard line, pro-Ahmadinejad newspaper Keyhan on Wednesday.

But in a analytical article published Wednesday by the pro-reform newspaper E’temad Melli, Mrs. Elaheh Koola’i, a former reformist lawmaker and a specialist of the Caspian Sea questions who also teaches at Tehran University pointed out that “in it’s efforts to recover the standing Russia used to have during the time of the Soviet Union Empire, Moscow is helped very much by Iran’s confrontation with the United States”.

“At a time that Moscow is in conflict with the United States over America’s plans to build anti-missile shields in Poland and in the Czech Republic and on other issues, in conflict with the European Union over its energetic and diplomatic pressures on Ukraine and Georgia, Iran’s differences with both the United States and Europe in the one hand and our general weak position at the international scene on the other hand, is an appropriate card at the hands of Russia in its game against these nations”, she stressed.

Taking cue from Mr. Ahmadinejad’s anti-Israeli rhetoric’s and his pledge to “wipe off” the Jewish State from the map of the world, American President George W. Bush again reiterated that the world must do more to isolate the Islamic Republic.

A diplomatic success by Mr. Putin in Tehran would mean “political suicide” for the Iranian fanatic President.

"We've got a leader in Iran who has announced that he wants to destroy Israel", Mr. Bush said during a Press Conference at the White House on Wednesday, hours after the triumphant return of hi Russia counterpart to Moscow from Tehran, adding: "So I've told people that, if you're interested in avoiding World War III, it seems like you ought to be interested in preventing them from having the knowledge necessary to make a nuclear weapon".

"I'm looking forward to getting President Putin's read-out from the meeting", Bush said, adding: "The thing I'm interested in is whether or not he continues to harbor the same concerns that I do," Bush added.

Actually, only hours after Putin left Iran, its arch foe Israel announced that Prime Minister Ehud Olmert would visit Russia on Thursday for what one official described as a "last-minute, urgent meeting", the French news Agency AFP reported from Jerusalem.

"The two intend to discuss a series of regional issues, including the peace process with the Palestinians, Iran's threat and attempt to acquire nuclear weapons, and developments in the region", Olmert's office said. ENDS PUTIN PROPOSALS 171007



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As of January 2009, this site is definitely closed, but you can follow Safa Haeri on his new blog: DAMAVAND at

Iranian Leader meeting Russian President Vladimir Putin
Iranian leader Ayatollah Khamenehi told Russian President he would "consider" the proposals he made to him to solve Iranian nuclear crisis

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