Iran’s “mad mullahs” want nuclear weapons to destroy Israel and can only be stopped by the threat or use of military force. That’s what the Bush administration would have the public believe, as it pushes toward a confrontation with Iran over that country’s nuclear program. A key link in the argument is that Tehran has shown no interest in negotiating over the nuclear issue. As State Department spokesman Sean McCormack told reporters last January, the administration didn’t then see “anything that indicates the Iranians are willing to engage in a serious diplomatic process” on the nuclear issue.read the whole thing - but a couple of snippets:
In the woeful history of falsehoods about the targets of potential U.S. force, however, this one is particularly egregious. In the spring of 2003, the Islamic Republic of Iran not only proposed to negotiate with the Bush administration on its nuclear program and its support for terrorists but also offered concrete concessions that went very far toward meeting U.S. concerns.
The story of that Iranian negotiating proposal and the U.S. failure to respond, which has never been covered by major U.S. media, reveals the underlying pragmatism driving Iranian policy toward an agreement with the United States. It also reveals a fierce struggle between realists who wanted to engage Iran diplomatically and the inner circle of advisers who were determined to avoid it. The stubborn rejection by President Bush and his neoconservative advisers of normal diplomatic practice in their dealings with Iran, detailed for the first time here, raises grave questions about the Bush administration’s real motives as it maneuvers through the present crisis over Iran’s nuclear program.
This describing late 2001:
"Vice President Dick Cheney and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld led the neoconservative push for regime change. But it was Douglas Feith, the abrasive and aggressively pro-Israel undersecretary of defense for policy, who was responsible for developing the details of the policy. Feith had two staff members, Larry Franklin and Harold Rhode, who spoke Farsi, and a third, William Luti, whom one former U.S. official recalls being “downright irrational” on anything having to do with Iran. A former intelligence official who worked on the Middle East said, “I’ve had a couple of Israeli generals tell me off the record that they think Luti is insane.”this from spring 2003 re the Iranian offer via switzerland:
In December 2001, Feith secretly dispatched Franklin and Rhode to Rome to meet with Manucher Ghorbanifar, the shady Iranian arms dealer in the Iran-Contra affair, and other Iranians. Administration officials later told Warren P. Strobel of the Knight Ridder media chain that they had learned that among those Iranians were representatives of the Mujahadeen e Khalq (MEK), a paramilitary organization Saddam had used for acts of terror against non-Sunni Iraqis and Iran."
"The proposal offered “decisive action against any terrorists (above all, al-Qaeda) in Iranian territory” and “full cooperation and exchange of all relevant information.” It also indicated, however, that Iran wanted from the United States the “pursuit of anti-Iranian terrorists, above all MKO” -- the Iranian acronym for the Mujihedeen e Khalq (MEK), which had fought alongside Iraqi troops in the war against Iran and was on the U.S. list of terrorist organizations -- “and support for repatriation of their members in Iraq” as well as actions against the organization in the United States.Of course, that proposal from Iran also offered the rejection of it's nuke technolgy, acknowledgement of Israel, assistance with al qaeda and renunication of hamas and hizbollah etc.
The offer of a narrower deal over al-Qaeda and the anti-Iranian terrorist group touched off a brief period of intensive maneuvering by both sides in the administration over U.S. policy toward the MEK. When the proposed al-Qaeda–MEK exchange of information was discussed at a White House meeting, proponents of regime change sought to differentiate MEK from al-Qaeda. Bush is said to have responded, “But we say there is no such thing as a good terrorist,” according to Leverett.
Although Bush did not approve an al-Qaeda–MEK deal, he did approve the disarming of the MEK who had surrendered to U.S. troops in Iraq, as the State Department requested, and allowed State to continue the talks in Geneva.
In a masterstroke, Rumsfeld and Cheney had shut down the only diplomatic avenue available for communicating with Iran and convinced Bush that Iran was on the same side as al-Qaeda.
The neoconservatives had hopes of taking advantage of this break to advance the plan developed by Feith and his staff for regime change in Iran. It called for a covert operation in Iran using the MEK (reconstituted under a new name) for armed forays into Iran. But Bush seems to have balked at getting in bed with the MEK. Seeing an opening, Powell became personally involved in heading off the use of the MEK against Iran. Powell pursued the MEK issue with both Rice and Rumsfeld “on a number of occasions,” according to Wilkerson. When he learned that Rumsfeld had prevailed on the military in May to leave the MEK with most of its arms and to allow it to move freely in and out of its camp north of Baghdad, Powell wrote a stiff letter to Rumsfeld reminding him that the MEK were U.S. “captives, not allies.”"
And now 'we' are going to bomb their people.