ahmadinejad nuclear 224.
(photo credit: AP [file])
A leading analyst on Iran says there is a growing feeling among various Iranian politicians that the Islamic Republic would be best served by yielding to international pressure and halting its nuclear program.
Menashe Amir, who for many years served as manager of Israel Radio's Farsi broadcasts, said that while Iran appears on the surface to be united in its nuclear drive, "there is a debate in Iran. [Some] say: We are being offered a fantastic, generous incentives package. Let's accept it...we cannot withstand the international pressure. The sanctions are widening, and the danger of a US or Israeli attack is growing. Let's not miss this chance...We'll accept it, we'll fold for now, we'll wait until the storm passes and until international conditions change. Under the current conditions we cannot continue with the nuclear plans.'"
Among Iranian politicians who hold this opinion, Amir said, are former president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, parliament speaker and former nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani, and former nuclear negotiator Hassan Rouhani.
Amir added that during the Iran-Iraq war in the 1980s, there was a period when Arab nations offered Iran $50 billion in exchange for the country's agreement to a cease-fire with Iraq. Iran refused, continued the war and "ended up losing both the war and the $50 billion." According to Amir, there are voices in Iran today saying "Let's not repeat this mistake."
"This is the message I am getting from Iran," Amir said, "and I have a feeling that the atmosphere in Iran today is [similar to] the atmosphere before the cease-fire in the Iran-Iraq war."