Proof That Iran Wanted Peace in 2003

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Over the weekend, Glenn Kessler of the Washington Post apparently got his hands on the official overture that Iran made to the United States back in 2003, shortly after the fall of Baghdad. Iran, apparently, was full ready to agree to safeguards on its nuclear program, work with the United States to stabilize Iraq, take “decisive action” against terrorists, end “material support” for Palestinian militias and accept a Saudi proposal for a two-state solution in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in exchange for negotiations and economic cooperation. These are the sorts of concessions U.S. diplomats would eat their hats for today.

But Bush administration officials turned it down, because they were “convinced that the Iranian government was on the verge of collapse.” The war in Iraq, it seemed, made some hawks a bit too giddy for diplomacy (remember, this was back in the “Mission Accomplished” days, when neoconservatives thought Baghdad had been conquered and were dreaming of marching troops into Tehran and Damascus next). So now the administration finds itself in the present situation, in which Iran is in a strong position to make demands, the U.S. is in a much weaker position to urge a halt to its nuclear program, and negotiations are still sluggish (though certainly hopeful). Nicely done.

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THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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