‘Ahmadinejad calls US intelligence report a step forward’

(Jerusalem Post) — President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Tuesday called a US intelligence review concluding Iran stopped developing its atomic weapons program four years ago a “step forward” and said more such steps could create an “entirely different” situation between the two countries. “We consider this measure by the US government a positive step. It is a step forward,” Ahmadinejad told a press conference.”If one or two other steps are taken, the issues we have in front of us will be entirely different and will lose their complexity, and the way will be open for the resolution of basic issues in the region and in dealings between the two sides,” Ahmadinejad said.

By “the resolution of basic issues in the region” he is of course referring to negotiations over Iraq — this story is a very big deal. It’s also the first utterance of a genuinely conciliatory remark Ahmadinejad has made to date. The NIE report is reaping fruit, at least in regards to Iraq, and strengthens the opinion of some analysts who say Iran’s main purpose in using the nuclear card was always to give it leverage over Iraq vis a vis the United States.


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