Wednesday, May 31, 2006

U.S. Conditionally Agrees to Talks with Iran

(Source Article: US agrees to talk -

After Iranian demand for bilateral talks with the US, the latter has agreed to (although not alone with Iran) enter into the negotiations of European countries with Iran—but on the condition that Iran suspends development of its nuclear program.

After being pressured by members of Congress and its European allies to open a dialogue with Iran, the Bush administration, through an announcement made by Condoleeza Rice, agreed to conditional negotiations with Iran—the latter having recently come under the international community’s scrutiny given its insistence on enriching uranium. Rice noted, however, that the threat of military action remained on the table.

Although Iran had expressed a desire to enter talks with the US, tensions might be high as Iranian officials have recently expressed concern over alleged US support of separatist groups within the ethnic minority population of the country; ethnic unrest has been causing troubles in some of Iran’s poorest areas, where such groups commit violence against officials and buildings. (see Ahmadi-Nejad accuses US of urging ethnic unrest -

Further, both US President Bush and UK’s Tony Blair have recently received briefings from Iranian opposition activists such as Amir Taheri—a resident of London who reported that Iran passed a new law requiring non-Muslims to wear special identification badges. Such news is likely to raise additional concerns among Iranian leaders as talks with the US loom on the horizon. (see Bush and Blair meet Iranian opposition -

Iranian leader Ahmadi-Nejad has continually insisted that Iran is not seeking nuclear weapons development, just nuclear energy and that all countries should be free to pursue such technologies.

Questions to think about:

-Does Ahmadi-Nejad have a point in stating that all countries should be free to pursue nuclear energy development? Is nuclear energy development a right or a privilege?

-If the latter is true, what must a country do to be worthy of such a privilege?

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