October 1st, 2009
09:30 AM ET
9 years ago

Don't threaten Iran, Carter says

ATLANTA, Georgia (CNN) - The United States and other nations should take a diplomatic approach toward Iran in negotiations over that nation's nuclear program, former President Jimmy Carter said Thursday.

Iran's nuclear chief and representatives from the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, as well as Germany, are scheduled to start talks Thursday in Switzerland over a recently revealed nuclear facility in Iran.

Tehran says it is developing its nuclear program for energy purposes, but many nations believe Iran wants to make nuclear weapons and will be able to do so in the near future.

A deliberate approach will work best, Carter said.

"I hope and pray that Iran will be induced to permit international inspectors to come in and observe their entire nuclear program, because what they're doing so far is completely illegal under the nonproliferation treaty," the former president said in an interview with CNN's Candy Crowley.

"They have a right to purify uranium and plutonium to use for nuclear power. If Iran is on the borderline, the constant threats that we or the Israelis are going to attack Iran is the best thing to force them to say, 'Let's defend ourselves.' I don't think Iran has made up their mind what to do, and I think the best thing we can do is engage them and stop making these idle threats."

Iran said Tuesday it will allow inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency to inspect the new facility, but it did not offer a timetable for those visits.

Filed under: Jimmy Carter
soundoff (112 Responses)
  1. some republican guy

    I agree we shouldn't threaten them. We should drop nucular bombs on them now!!!! If we don't do it now, the world won't be safe when my grandbabies grow up. Their the enemies of humanity!!!! The Iranians will take over the world with help from the evil islamic obamabot, the illeagle aliens, the elitest libtards and the socialist ACORN union thugs. Their all in this together!!! Have a nice day!

    October 1, 2009 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  2. Colin

    I'm surprised that Jimmy Carter believes that Iran hasn't yet made up their mind about developing nuclear weapons. Why would he think that?

    October 1, 2009 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  3. jon

    And we wonder why he never got the hostages home!!!
    This is very sad. He never had a good reputation to begin with but he was doing so much good with Habitat for Humanity. Now he is embarrasing himself all over again.

    October 1, 2009 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  4. Dave

    PLEASE go away Mr. Carter. "Hope & pray Iran will be induced" has NEVER worked and will NEVER work. There is ONLY one way to stop Iran from developing nuclear weapons and "hope & pray" our political leaders have the same courage President Bush displayed during his administration. Iran wants nuclear weapons, the world does not want Iran to have them, something must give and hoping & praying will NOT do the trick.

    October 1, 2009 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  5. Lisa

    Carter needs to shut up. He is one of the worst Presidents in recent history (along with Bush) with his mishandling of many incidents during his 4 years in office. And he further diminished any credibility he had with his recent comments about lack of support for Obama being racist (even Obama didn't agree with him).

    October 1, 2009 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  6. Dar

    One of the worst presidents we ever had is trying to tell us what to do. Think anyone is listening.
    God Bless All

    October 1, 2009 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  7. Ron In California

    Jimmy, please go away.

    October 1, 2009 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  8. southerncousin

    What an absolute idiot. Always has been and now he is getting senile so it gets worse.

    October 1, 2009 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  9. Marie in California

    I think Jimmy Carter is the most inept president of my lifetime, the enabler of continuing atrocities in the Mideast (still is) and the initiator of the massive inflation and skyrocketing interest rates of the late 1970's. I attach no credibility to anything that Carter says.

    It seems Obama is following in Carter's foot steps.

    Heaven help us all!

    October 1, 2009 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  10. proud conservative

    Spoken like the true anti-semite that he is! Israel has every right to defend itself and is a far braver nation than we are when it comes to Iran. NO NEGOTIATIONS!

    October 1, 2009 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  11. Steve B (California)

    i don't believe it is for the better of our country to have these news organizations putting a microphone in front of ex-President Carter.
    He is proving to be more out of touch as he gets older.

    Please stop giving him an outlet for his remarks.

    October 1, 2009 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  12. Mathew

    While I respect Jimmy Carter and concur that a deliberate approach is best, I find it a tad bit ironic that he's offering suggestions about how to deal with Iran considering his own problem with the Islamic Republic many years ago.

    October 1, 2009 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
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