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. Angus McDugan

    Like Carter was ever successful working with Iran. Why would anyone take his advice regarding working with Iran?

    October 1, 2009 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  2. Matt, Manchester, CT

    Thanks, Jimmy. While we're at it, why don't we send some helicopters in there to free the hostages and watch those crash. Sit down and be quiet, old man.

    October 1, 2009 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  3. Annie, Atlanta

    I agree with President Carter. At least try diplomacy first. Maybe, just maybe, we get the international community behind us by doing that, just in case talks don't succeed. Going in and telling them it's my way or the highway doesn't work. It's against human nature.

    October 1, 2009 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  4. Alan Robbins

    Yeah, right. Jimmy Carter knows how to deal with Iran.

    October 1, 2009 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  5. What have we come to?

    Thanks, Jimmy. Neville Chamberlain would be proud of you.....

    October 1, 2009 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  6. Charlie Rangel

    Is Jimmy lacking faith that the President and Secretary of State will not follow their campaign promises and talk with our enemies?

    I thought we were going to be loved by all and conduct ourselves peacefully. Jimmy's doubt shows a chink in the armor of our diplomatic skills.

    October 1, 2009 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  7. Dan Roberts

    Hey, Jimmy Carter, that wasn't your stance when you sent a failed mission that killed American Soldiers to rescue the American Hostages in Iran back in the late 70's. Forget about that? Obviously. How you deal with those who view you as an enemy is just as important on how you try and deal with them as a hostile entity that sees you as nothing more than target practice. Keep playing it soft, and you'll be asking to get America attacked again, because you're helping us look weak in their eyes.

    October 1, 2009 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  8. dale

    The leader of the iranian people is a straight faced liar. Must have went toschool with our politicians

    October 1, 2009 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  9. Thomas

    If people can put their emotions and pride aside, there is wisdom in what President Carter is saying. I hope President Obama is listening to what President Carter has to say and considers it carefully.

    October 1, 2009 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  10. Expat American

    Carter is right. Threatening other nations only strengthens the resolve of those within who are opposed to the U.S.

    Bush's failed cowboy diplomacy of chest thumping while insulting America's allies is the best example to draw upon within the past half-century.

    October 1, 2009 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  11. Truth-Bomb Thrower

    Jimmy Carter giving advice on how to handle Iran. HA HA HA HA HA!!!!

    Jimmy, go back go growing peanuts and stop pretending like you're a respected statesman. Your name will always be synonymous with failure, shame, and disgrace. You are truly an embarrassment to your country....not to mention your species. Just go away.

    October 1, 2009 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  12. barb

    Carter should be locked up, he was a bad president, and now he just wants too cause trouble too get attention. He is so bad at everything that is the only way he can get put all over the media.

    October 1, 2009 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  13. Scott, Tucson

    We just need to vote any and all incumbents regardless of party, out of office. Do this for the next 3-4 election cycles than maybe just maybe they would start listening to their constituents.

    October 1, 2009 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  14. BGJ

    Carter giving advice on how to deal with Iran? Given his track record, that is really funny.

    I guess that now W has replaced him as the worst president of the last 100 years, he is now attempting to become the worst former president.

    October 1, 2009 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  15. Sgt. USMC

    I'm locked, cocked and ready to rock. So are many of our nation's men and women. We are done hearing excuses and lies. Let's go already.

    October 1, 2009 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  16. Don Peterson

    Carter is taking the appeasement route again. Just like Neville Chamberlin with Hitler in the '30s. It will not work. Carter does not "KNOW" what the Iranians are thinking. Watch what the Iranians "do" and base our policy on their "actions" not their "thoughts"!

    October 1, 2009 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  17. Anonymous

    How did negotiations work during the hostiage takeover, Jimmy?

    October 1, 2009 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  18. Mike

    Why does not the worst President in our history until obama came along, why does carter not just sit in a corner and shut the hell up.

    October 1, 2009 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  19. Mike Syracuse, NY

    Well let's listen to Jimmy. After all he was so successful deaing with Iran when he was President. NOT!

    October 1, 2009 09:48 am at 9:48 am |

    Same OLD Jimmy Carter. It took Ronald Reagan and the Republicans to end the Hostage take over that Jimmy left them there for 444 days. But, Yes Jimmy lets lets try your approach again. Can you not learn from history??????!

    October 1, 2009 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  21. gt

    carter s presidency was a disaster,, why listen to that old toad...

    October 1, 2009 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  22. Fan of Common Sense

    Why would anyone possibly care what this joke of a human being thinks? Jimmy, go back to the peanut farm and stop embarrassing yourself.

    October 1, 2009 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  23. Jeremy

    Won't this guy go away already? You time has passed my friend,.

    October 1, 2009 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  24. Scott, Tucson

    Oops! wrong post.

    Seems to me there have been some 30 plus years of diplomatic discussions with Iran and nothing to show for it other than they are ever closer to becoming another nuclear power. But there's more worrisome problems for Obama to deal with right now like winning the summer Olympics for Chicago to host.

    October 1, 2009 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  25. Mike

    As I remember former President Carter royally screwed up a situation with Iran – while a great humanitarian, he lacked the resolve necessary to deal with non-friendly nations. He has no credibility on this issue as far as I am concerned, he is the great appeaser!

    October 1, 2009 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
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