October 1st, 2009
09:30 AM ET
5 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. Richard

    yeah lets take advice from Jimmy on Iran, how many days were those hostages there again ?

    October 1, 2009 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  2. Gerda Edwards

    "A deliberate approach will work best, Carter said."

    So how did that deliberate approach with Iran work for you, Mr President??

    October 1, 2009 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  3. i feel like i'm taking crazy pills!!

    sure, why don't we offer them some peanuts and free some time up for their views on woman's rights while we're at it?

    October 1, 2009 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  4. Darren

    Good Job Carter !
    We need more like you in the World. Men of Peace
    That is why you are the Republicans favorite target.
    These far right nuts have a strange combination of religion mixed in with praise for war and weaponary. Just like the Romans of old. Another Republic that failed.

    October 1, 2009 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  5. Nathan,

    As one who thought that there was no need to go into Iraq I believe that Iran has every intention of creating nuclear weapons and waiting to do something about it will make it harder later. What makes Carter or any of the the other leaders that matter think Iran will eventually come clean about their intentions. They lied for years about the existence of the plant that they just admitted to. If we continue to wait then Isreal will do something on their own and the whole middle east will be on fire. If we and Europe do something then the other states won't interfere. What would we do if Mexico said we had no right to exist and were building nuclear power plants and testing missiles. We would do the same thing Isreal will eventually do if the rest of the world dosen't act.

    October 1, 2009 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  6. Gallimimus

    Carter, Bush, VP Cheney, Clinton all just need to shut up. Their time has passed. We are in the situations that we are in due to some of the decisions that these presidents and vice presidents made. Let Obama be president now.

    October 1, 2009 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  7. Mike in SA

    Haven't we been taking the deliberate approach for nearly a decade now? So Jimmy, how well has that worked? Oh, yeah...you're an anti-Semite, so it's worked pretty good for you and your buddies, just not anybody else.

    October 1, 2009 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  8. worriedmom

    Please, Carter, you need to realize you are no longer President and you just need to go back into retirement!! You only served one term for a reason!

    October 1, 2009 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  9. Debra R

    Yes, that approach worked so well with Adolph Hitler. Great idea Jimmy "Chamberlain" Carter.

    October 1, 2009 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  10. fred

    let's sit down and drink coffee with Iran's leaders and hope they have a change of heart when it comes to nuclear development.

    Reason number 1 million why Carter was 4 and the door.

    October 1, 2009 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  11. Realist

    From Carter.....waste of time and illinformed as usual

    October 1, 2009 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  12. Phil

    Jimmy Carter needs to focus on peanut farming. If our world was the Utopian society he wants it to be, his approach to things may work, but unfortunately our world is far from that level of society. We shouldn't personally do anything to Iran, but I have no problems with selling Israel some of our F22's at a bargain basement price so they can take care of the job.

    October 1, 2009 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  13. Doug, New Jersey

    I don't think it is any secret what Carter would hope Iran would do with the Nuke.

    I hope that Obama doesn't follow Carter's advice on Iran, which is don't threaten them, cry on tv and beg them to listen to you. It sure worked well for Jimmy didn't it?

    I just wish that Democrats would take their hate for every conservative in America and direct it toward Iran and other rogue nations. However, no Democrat will ever hate any person in this world more than honest, tax paying, play by the rules, kind hearted conservative Americans.

    October 1, 2009 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  14. MARKPAIN

    Iran could`ve been a legitimate target if our politicians had used common sense years ago. Irag was a major mistake to many nations that we would need support (not approval) from to handle the Iranian problem. It`s probaly a good thing Obama tried to soothe any hurt feelings in "Old Europe"

    October 1, 2009 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  15. Obama Victim

    and we should take advice from quite possibly the worst president ever?? no thanks

    October 1, 2009 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  16. Pete

    Hi Jimmy,

    Please go away.

    Thank you

    October 1, 2009 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  17. Mike

    Carter is the last people we should be taking advice from on the middle-east..

    October 1, 2009 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  18. bigvin

    Wow!!! The man initially responsible for the spread of Islamic terrorism chimes in.

    October 1, 2009 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  19. Bubble of Sanity

    Why would anyone listen to this clown? Even Mr. Obama has rejected his asinine commentary; why would anyone else take it seriously. Jimmy Carter was, is, and unfortunately, always will be - a loser.

    October 1, 2009 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  20. Mike

    On the topic of the middle-east, I think Carter is the last person we should be taking advice from..

    October 1, 2009 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  21. JD

    It's because of Carter's ineptitude that we even have an Islamic Iran today. I don't think we should be giving that miserable failure of a president the time of day now on the subject. Period. End of story.

    October 1, 2009 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  22. Fair is Fair

    Carter, will you just SHUT UP???

    Seriously, Carter – Iran made you look like the stumbling, bumbling fool that you are when you were in office. The simple fact that your administration wasn't even capable of flying 7 helicopters over there without having all the soldiers killed proves your ineptness.

    Obama... if you listen to one word this senile old man says, you deserve the walking papers you're going to get in 2012.

    October 1, 2009 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  23. Obama = Trickle up Poverty

    Carter giving advice, gotta love it, The former worst president ever giving advice to the NEW worst president ever. Go back to peanut farming.

    October 1, 2009 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  24. Arthur Lee Horn

    Jimmy Carter's past performance as the President of the United States was a large embarrassment. The way the Iranians treated the American hostages in Iran was disgraceful and that led Carter to an enormous election loss to Ronald Reagan. It seems since that time, Jimmy Carter has learned nothing and has even less of an understanding of bullies in politics, if such a thing is possible.

    October 1, 2009 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  25. Wanda

    Tell me again why anyone gives a flying flip what Carter says. We are in the biggest mess I have ever seen. We have a president that is placing people in positions that will help to continue to tear our country apart and all the "liberals" keep yelling is that if you believe in having good, moral values and disagree with an arrogant leader that you are either being racist or trying to cause trouble. The last time I checked we still live in a country that says we have a right to voice our opinion. Carter is one of the worst offenders when it comes to putting his mouth in gear just to get some media attention and it works. I see little difference in Carter and Obama. Neither one of them really cares about anything other than their personal agendas. Mr. Carter, try being quiet for a while. I would appreciate it, even if no one else does.

    October 1, 2009 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
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