August 30, 2004


Edwards Says Kerry Plans to Confront Iran on Weapons (Glenn Kessler and Robin Wright, August 30, 2004, Washington Post)

A John F. Kerry administration would propose to Iran that the Islamic state be allowed to keep its nuclear power plants in exchange for giving up the right to retain the nuclear fuel that could be used for bomb-making, Democratic vice presidential nominee John Edwards said in an interview yesterday.

Edwards said that if Iran failed to take what he called a "great bargain," it would essentially confirm that it is building nuclear weapons under the cover of a supposedly peaceful nuclear power initiative. He said that, if elected, Kerry would ensure that European allies were prepared to join the United States in levying heavy sanctions if Iran rejected the proposal. "If we are engaging with Iranians in an effort to reach this great bargain and if in fact this is a bluff that they are trying to develop nuclear weapons capability, then we know that our European friends will stand with us," Edwards said.

It's not clear why Iran can't keep its nuclear power plants now if it doesn't pursue weapons, but the follow-up question for Kerry/Edwards is pretty straightforward and dispositive of the Iraq war argument: If the Iranians refuse the offer and France and Germany say that's fine by them, would President Kerry accept this European diktat or act unilaterally to prevent Iran from developing a potential nuclear capability?

Posted by Orrin Judd at August 30, 2004 4:47 PM

Isn't this essentially the same deal that the Clinton administration gave North Korea? Why wouldn't Iran agree to it and still build nuclear weapons?

Posted by: pj at August 30, 2004 5:10 PM

It's obvious that's why they're doing it now, of course; a country with massive, cheap oil production has no practical use for small nuclear plants.

Posted by: mike earl at August 30, 2004 5:28 PM

I have no idea what the point of this is. For people who know anything about the situation, it's ludicrous, and for the no-nothings, it's dangerous saber rattling.

Posted by: David Cohen at August 30, 2004 6:12 PM

Am I imagining things? Hasn't Iran already announced its intention to develop nuclear weapons, no matter what?

Posted by: jd watson at August 30, 2004 7:47 PM

You guys should have watched CNN International last night, this was covered. They don't have the megawatts needed so they need nuke power. Their population requires 7.5m barrels. They actually have some windmills.

Posted by: Sandy P at August 30, 2004 7:52 PM

Sandy P: "Their population requires 7.5m barrels."

How does CNN Int'l reconcile the fact that Iran possesses the world's third largest known reserves of natural gas? Couldn't they just as easily construct power plants to take advantage of this natural resource of theirs rather than the nuclear option? Or is it as I suspect that when the ayatollahs declared their intention to destroy Israel that they meant it literally and not just rhetorically?

Posted by: MB at August 30, 2004 8:41 PM

Better watch out for the Kedwards gang--they are packing sanctions.

Posted by: Jeff Guinn at August 30, 2004 9:21 PM

The ayatollahs are concerned about global warming and the carbon emissions from burning that natural gas, and this is their way of supporting the Kyoto Accords.

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at August 31, 2004 12:14 AM

Do you think it might be possible that Israel is also looking for some nuclear weapons? Some people say they do!

Posted by: willy andreina at August 31, 2004 2:20 PM

Israel has nuclear weapons.

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Posted by: Larry Page at October 15, 2004 9:58 AM