The Iranian president has offered to negotiate personally with the United States over his country’s nuclear program — with one proviso.

“You pull away the gun from the face of the Iranian nation, and I myself will enter the talks with you,” Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said.

It’s an admission that the sanctions imposed on the country, pushed by the Obama administration in favor of direct military action, could be working. Although sanctions are a form of collective punishment that can also backfire.

The Guardian points out that this could all be a power play for Ahmadinejad where internal Iranian politics are concerned:

Ahmadinejad is in his final months of his term of office and his followers are weakened by a feud with the Islamic Republic’s clerical establishment. His latest statement, which implies that he is an equal player with Khamenei in foreign policy matters, may simply be an attempt to appear as though he is still politically relevant.

“You pull away the gun from the face of the Iranian nation, and I myself will enter the talks with you,” Ahmadinejad said at a ceremony marking the 34th anniversary of the 1979 revolution that toppled a Western-backed monarch and ushered in the Islamic Republic.

Read more

— Posted by Peter Z. Scheer.

Wait, before you go…

If you're reading this, you probably already know that non-profit, independent journalism is under threat worldwide. Independent news sites are overshadowed by larger heavily funded mainstream media that inundate us with hype and noise that barely scratch the surface. We believe that our readers deserve to know the full story. Truthdig writers bravely dig beneath the headlines to give you thought-provoking, investigative reporting and analysis that tells you what’s really happening and who’s rolling up their sleeves to do something about it.

Like you, we believe a well-informed public that doesn’t have blind faith in the status quo can help change the world. Your contribution of as little as $5 monthly or $35 annually will make you a groundbreaking member and lays the foundation of our work.

Support Truthdig