Former Prime Minister Mohammad Khatami whose tenure in that office was marked by efforts to reduce the power of extremist religious figures, urged the world to stop trying to halt his nation from engaging in peaceful uses of atomic energy. He noted the IAEA reported “contained positive points and I believe that the Iranians and the International Atomic Energy Agency have developed cooperation in a logical manner and achieved the desired results. However,” he admitted, “the report also included some negative points and ambiguities which can provide a path for those who are seeking a pretext to prevent a diplomatic settlement of the nuclear issue.” Khatami insisted that Iran only wants to use nuclear energy for peaceful purposes and raised the issue as to why Israel is allowed possession of nuclear weapons.
There is no doubt the world has reason to be suspicious of an Iranian government headed by a man like Ahmadinejad. But, men like Khatami who reached out to western nations, including the United States, in an effort to establish peaceful relations, were rejected. The United States now lives with the consequences of a Bush policy that focused on warlike rhetoric rather than supporting forces of moderation in Iran.