December 19th, 2007
05:00 PM ET
6 years ago

Giuliani: I'm open to talks with Iran

(CNN) – Republican presidential hopeful Rudy Giuliani Wednesday said he would be open to diplomatic talks with Iran, but only if certain pre conditions were established.

"I would want to make sure there was a chance it would work,” Giuliani said while speaking to CNN's Wolf Blitzer in Columbia, Missouri. “I would want to make sure there would be an opportunity to verify whatever it is we were going to do.”

"I worked for Ronald Reagan. I believe in 'trust but verify,'” he said.

The former New York City mayor said he would meet Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad - but only if pre-conditions where established. He noted that President Reagan had met with America's adversaries.

"He spoke to the Russians, Soviets, the Chinese.” Giuliani said. “Even at the highest level of the Cold War, there were discussions - but not without preconditions.”

Giuliani said that even if he did enter into talks with Iran, the option of an American invasion to topple the current Islamic government would not necessarily be off the table.

"Some have said they would take regime change off the table, or they seem to be less firm about the military option. You start taking these things off the table, there's no negotiation, there's no pressure, no leverage. You have to have leverage,” Giuliani said.

– CNN.com Senior Political Producer Scott Anderson


Filed under: Rudy Giuliani
soundoff (16 Responses)
  1. Bukky, Balt MD

    "Giuliani said that even if he did enter into talks with Iran, the option of an American invasion to topple the current Islamic government would not necessarily be off the table."

    Yes!!! Thats how you open a dialog... threaten death to people that are CLEARLY NOT AFFRAID OF DYING....

    December 19, 2007 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  2. Bukky, Balt MD

    "Giuliani said that even if he did enter into talks with Iran, the option of an American invasion to topple the current Islamic government would not necessarily be off the table."

    Yes!!! Thats how you open a dialog... threaten death to people that are CLEARLY NOT AFFRAID OF DYING....

    December 19, 2007 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  3. Fred, Reston Va

    Notice this says WITH preconditions. Not like that nut Obama who wants to sing "It's a small world after all" with rogue leaders at the White House.

    NObama

    December 19, 2007 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  4. Scott, MI

    And I VOTED for Reagan and say you, Mr. Guiliani, are a sleazebag.

    You "worked for Reagan." So did Oliver North and he was a sleazebag as well. So did many democrats that I can't possibly stand. You were just one of several people that underminded Regan's legacy, in my opinion.

    Go to a dark, hot place where you belong.

    December 19, 2007 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  5. Diamond

    Another flip-flopper who cannot be trusted. Just like Hillary Clinton. It's OK to take Chavez's money or to have savings in Cayman Islands, but not OK to speak with hostile leaders.

    A while ago, he criticized Obama for being willing to talk with Iran. Today, he's putting the difference on 'pre-conditions'.

    One month from today, he's going to say something else.

    December 19, 2007 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  6. Phillipe Farneti

    He, like the rest of ingrates running for office can NEVER be trusted, but somebody has to be president I suppose. I mean any money ass person can run these days. Presi8ents are afterall only figure heads. I have NO faith in government. They give us our little"elections" to give the us the illusion that we matter when all the big decisions are made already. The president whomever the hell that might be is already chosen so think again if you think your vote really matters. Ask congress if they will let us vote on tax hikes or metro rate increases they want to make all the decisions on there own, at least the ones that will make THEM the money, we can go kiss off. I give you my FULL name so you can know I am pissed as hell about the crap going on.

    December 19, 2007 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  7. NO NUKES, IRAN

    BOMB ,BOMB ,BOMB -IRAN.... THAT'S ALL FOLKS!

    December 19, 2007 09:27 pm at 9:27 pm |
  8. Kevin, Seattle, WA

    Rudy is right: you have to have leverage. If the police didn't have the ability to put criminals in jail, do you think crime would go up?

    December 19, 2007 09:39 pm at 9:39 pm |
  9. Steve, Denver Colorado

    No one is to be trusted. In fact, you can not even trust yourself.

    Methinks that most of the people that post here have no life; if you are just realizing that America is corrupt then you are in for a rude next few years...

    Giuliani is right, if you promise to take war off the table then you lay down your cards. He is clearly not saying "WE WILL KILL YOU IF YOU DON'T GIVE US OIL" as one Bukky would say (twice). He's right, you have to handle any opposition firmly but be willing to talk.

    December 19, 2007 10:32 pm at 10:32 pm |
  10. Trang, Fremont, CA

    Talking with 'preconditions'. Not much different from what we have today, I think. Isn't it the American position is to have Iran stop the nuclear activities before we sit down and talk. It's going nowhere. Talking with 'preconditions' is not really talking, and no countries would want to talk with these 'preconditions'. It's a form of threat. Back to same point. No talk.

    Why don't you get real. Just sit down and talk and listen what they have to say.

    Now, I understand that America is nervous because of Iran's threat about destroying Israel. Next time you sit down to talk, ask that question again. Is it their intention to destroy Israel or do they say it in the heat of anger. What do they say needs to happen to avert this? Hear them out. And of course, if they do not intend to build a nuclear weapon, and the world is afraid of them building a nuclear weapon, perhaps they wouldn't mind having inspectors go in and check – and make sure they are not building nuclear weapons.

    Now, it's another issue if they say they are building nuclear weapons, they are a sovereign country, and we can't do anything about it. They are not saying this. They are saying they are building nuclear facility for 'peaceful' energy purpose. So develop a relationship with them, and inspect their program. Give them a benefit of a doubt and check them.

    It's a whole lot better than drum up the beat for war – as George Bush did.

    December 20, 2007 01:34 am at 1:34 am |
  11. Middle Class America

    Well Rudy your working for Reagan tells me a lot. You worked for the person who put the trickle down theory into practice, which in turn has been nothing but a feeding frenzy of the rich off of middle class which continues today. Personally I think your credentials on this are crap.

    December 20, 2007 02:52 am at 2:52 am |
  12. Dan (Columbia, MD)

    Walk softly and carry a big stick.

    I guess you liberals never learned that lesson.

    No wonder you're seen as push overs and weak on national security.

    December 20, 2007 08:37 am at 8:37 am |
  13. Bukky Balt MD

    Giuliani is right, if you promise to take war off the table then you lay down your cards. He is clearly not saying "WE WILL KILL YOU IF YOU DON'T GIVE US OIL" as one Bukky would say (twice). He's right, you have to handle any opposition firmly but be willing to talk.

    Posted By Steve, Denver Colorado : December

    Whoa Steve DONT put word in my mouth. 1) If this country was to say that to anyone it would be Chavez not Iran. 2) You think Iran doesnt know that this country will bomb the hell out of it IF it needs to? The point is not to threaten people you ARE trying to talk to. You dont go talk peace and bring threats of war. WAR is not a precondition... it is not leverage in talks... IT IS A THREAT. Nobody takes well to threats.

    Everyone knows that US has leverage over most countries one leader sitting with another to find out what each other wants does not need an actual threat of war. Its not like Obama is saying... well if we sit down and talk im not going to attack you...

    STOP THREATENING PEOPLE

    December 20, 2007 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  14. Jose Card

    Yes, it would be ironic to see how our Mayor talks with the Iranian mayor.

    December 20, 2007 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  15. Former US Army Officer, Kansas

    Be close to your friends, but even closer to your enemeies. Military confrontaion is the last resort of failed political dialog, but one must be willing to have that dialog first.

    Having to deal with foreign problems with the use of force, means that our political leaders have failed us. They have failed in foreign policies and they have failed in diplomatic channels. Sometimes a nation must stand up and defend itself, but the operative word is defend.

    We have way to many hawks in this nation today that call for invasion, invasion, the vast majority have never served a day in defense of this nation and find it much easier to call for the use of military force having never placed themselves in harms way.

    I guess we have a certain percentage of the nation that can not seperate national security from irresponsible militarism beating on their little drums and thinking that means they are for national security.

    The very act of war means that someone has failed to do their job, war after all is an extension of diplomacy after all other means have failed.

    Talk is neither cheap nor fruitless, nor should talks be tarnished with preconceived ideas up front, guideline and rules yes, but everything must be on the table for open discussion.

    The open threat of military action is not leverage, nor must one enter into talks based upon threats, you must be willing to give alittle so that you can take some back in return.

    December 20, 2007 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  16. Ajay Jain

    We have heard this from the current administration as well: "if certain pre conditions were established.", regime change, war threat, everything "on the table". It has gotten us nowhere. Has it? Then what new about Rudy except you are towing the failed policies of Bush-Cheney era.

    Trust but verify is what Bill Clinton's administration was doing with North Korea, Iran, Iraq but Bush's AXIS-OF-EVIL State of the Union address derailed everything.

    What did Bush get in return for his AXIS-OF-EVIL State of the Union address
    nothing. A BIG FAT ZERO! Just created conditions for the neo-cons to attack pre-emtively and declare a premature victory.

    What's new RUDY? The American population wants a NEW direction!! Remember the routing in 2006 elections?

    December 21, 2007 03:14 am at 3:14 am |

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