Iran Offered President Bush Nuclear Deal in 2003

News Commentary — Dec 9, 2013

“In 2003, Iran made an offer to the Bush administration that they would, in fact, do major things with respect to their [nuclear] program; they had 164 centrifuges. Nobody took that [deal] — nothing has happened.”
– Secretary of State John F. Kerry, in an interview on ABC’s “This Week,” Nov. 24, 2013
Speaking with ABC on November 24, Secretary of State John Kerry said that Iran approached the Bush administration with proposals for a nuclear deal back in 2003.
The Iranian approach came via the Swiss, who still had diplomatic representatives in Tehran, and it came in the form of a fax (see below) that detailed a roadmap for peaceful negotiations with Washington on Iran’s nuclear program.
A key player in drafting the document was said to be Mohammad Javad Zarif, then Iran’s U.N. ambassador and now the country’s foreign minister.
According to the Swiss ambassador in Tehran at the time, Tim Guldimann:
”I got the clear impression that there is a strong will of the regime to tackle the problem with the U.S. now and to try it with this initiative”.
So what happened?
According to the Washington Post, despite initial scepticism some mid-level State Department officials were nonetheless curious about Iran’s unorthodox approach, but then-Secretary of State Colin Powell never even forwarded the proposal to the White House.
Given his UN presentation on Iraq when he claimed: “there can be no doubt that Saddam Hussein has biological weapons”, Colin Powell may not have been the best choice to lodge the proposal with. Indeed, after consulting with other members of the administration it’s possible that Powell may have been told to quietly do nothing.

The faxed Iranian nuclear offer. Click to enlarge

For her part Condoleezza Rice, the then national security adviser, says she can’t remember ever seeing the fax.

“We had people who said, ‘The Iranians want to talk to you,’ lots of people who said, ‘The Iranians want to talk to you,’ ” she testified when she was secretary of state and pushing for talks with Iran. “But I think I would have noticed if the Iranians had said, ‘We’re ready to recognize Israel.’ . . . I just don’t remember ever seeing any such thing.”
Stephen J. Hadley, Rice’s deputy in 2003 and later national security adviser, was equally as vague. “In 2003, a fax purportedly from Iranian sources offering a diplomatic breakthrough arrived on a State Department fax machine,” he wrote in a history of the Bush administration’s dealings with Iran. “It was later determined to be the result of freelancing by a Swiss diplomat hoping to be the one to make peace between Iran and the United States.”
However, Hadley isn’t perhaps the most reliable witness when it comes to such matters. A member of the Council for Foreign Relations, Hadley also serves on the Board of Directors of Defence giant Raytheon and until recently owned over 11,000 shares in the firm. At the time he was one of the most vocal advocates for launching strikes on Syria in September; writing articles calling for such action in the Washington Post. Until it was realised that being on the Board of Directors of Raytheon, which manufactures the very Tomahawk cruise missiles that would have been used in such strikes constitutes a gross conflict of interest.
So Hadley’s comments on the matter don’t carry much weight. Indeed, like other members of the Bush administration he could even be accused of being deliberately evasive about the Iranian proposal.
Nonetheless, through a combination of self-interest and wilful ignorance the Bush administration effectively dismissed the Iranian offer and years of tension followed. At times those tensions came close to erupting into open military conflict; all of which could have been avoided if the Americans had been receptive to the earlier Iranian approach.
To some in Tehran the U.S. lack of response amounted to a rebuff and smacked of imperial hubris. According to one of Iran’s nuclear negotiators this was because the Americans were at ‘the height of their pride and victory in Iraq’.
“The world did not want Pakistan to have an atomic bomb or Brazil to have the fuel cycle,” he said, “but Pakistan built its bomb and Brazil has its fuel cycle, and the world started to work with them. Our problem is that we have not achieved either one, but we are standing at the threshold.”
Crucially he added that Iran “never wanted to move in [the] direction” of building a bomb.
That negotiator was none other than Hassan Rouhani, now the president of Iran. Meaning that his efforts to open negotiations with the West have finally met with some success.
However, the accord on Iran’s nuclear program is far being finalised and as with Iran’s earlier approach to the U.S. it could all still come to nothing.
Indeed, if the Zionists and their American collaborators have their way it almost certainly will.