US Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama said on Friday
that he would personally negotiate with Iran and pursue a chance to
establish peaceful bilateral relations should he be elected as
"There is the potential at least for us finding ways of
peacefully resolving some of our conflicts, and that effort has not
been attempted," Obama said in an interview with NBC's "Today"
Presidential candidate Senator Barack Obama
gestures while speaking during a political debate at Drexel
University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, October 30, 2007. He said
on Friday that he would personally negotiate with Iran and pursue a
chance to establish peaceful bilateral relations should he be
elected as president.
The Illinois senator called for greater emphasis on negotiation
"And if we don't make that attempt, then we're going to find
ourselves continuing on the path that (President George W.) Bush
and (Vice President Dick) Cheney have set," he said.
If being elected, he would offer economic incentives to Iran as
long as its leaders stop pursuing nuclear weapons and supporting
terrorists, Obama said.
"We would be very clear with Iran and say 'We don't accept your
development of nuclear weapons'," he added.
According to a New York Times report on Friday, Obama said that
incentives offered to Iran can include World Trade Organization
membership and US assurance of not seek "regime change" if Iranian
leaders changed their ways on key issues.
Obama made his own call after 30 senators, including his main
rival Hillary Rodham Clinton, sent a letter on Thursday to
President Bush, warning him that he has no authority to launch any
military action against Iran.
"We wish to emphasize that no congressional authority exists for
unilateral military action against Iran," said the letter.
The letter also said that a Senate resolution on calling for
designation of Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps as a terrorist
group could justify war against Iran.
Senators blamed Bush's warning against Iran last month that
Tehran must be barred from nuclear weapons to avoid the prospect of
"World War III," saying it is "counterproductive and undermine
efforts to resolve tensions with Iran through diplomacy."
Although not signing the letter, Obama introduced a Senate
resolution late Thursday saying Bush does not have authority to use
military force against Iran, which, as his spokesman said, was an
effort to "nullify the vote the Senate took to give the president
the benefit of the doubt on Iran."
(Xinhua News Agency November 3, 2007)