Cheney Rejected Iran Concessions
Posted on Jan 18, 2007
Four years ago, Iran offered to end its support of Hezbollah and Hamas, help to stabilize Iraq and make its nuclear program more transparent, according to a top aide to former Secretary of State Colin Powell. But Vice President Dick Cheney nixed the deal, because of his “We don’t talk to evil” mentality, the aide said.
In exchange for Iran’s concessions, the United States would have had to drop sanctions, relax its hostility toward Tehran and disband an Iraq-based Iranian militant group.
One of the then Secretary of State Colin Powell’s top aides told the BBC the state department was keen on the plan—but was over-ruled.
“We thought it was a very propitious moment to do that,” Lawrence Wilkerson told Newsnight.
“But as soon as it got to the White House, and as soon as it got to the Vice-President’s office, the old mantra of ‘We don’t talk to evil’ ... reasserted itself.”
Observers say the Iranian offer as outlined nearly four years ago corresponds pretty closely to what Washington is demanding from Tehran now.
Since that time, Lebanese guerrilla group Hezbollah inflicted significant military losses on the major U.S. ally in the region, Israel, in the 2006 conflict and is now claiming increased political power in Lebanon.
Palestinian militant group Hamas won power in parliamentary elections a year ago, opening a new chapter of conflict in Gaza and the West Bank.