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.
Jimmy Carter gives advice on Iran ... just too funny for words!
Yo Jimmy... Iran has learned that they can ignore negotiations while having no substantial consequences. They have no reason to cooperate.
Jimmy Carter should go back to farming peanuts. He has never understood foreigh policy. His idiotic veiws rival Neville Chamberlain.
Here's a superb idea! How about we don't listen to a failure of a president like Carter?!?
Carter still hasn't realized that he was voted out of office by a HUGE land slide because he was INCOMPETENT.
No one wants a war with IRAN, but we know Iran doesn't cooperate and will not listen. We should stick to a plan of SANCTIONS, have a well defined timeline, and then be more aggressive, but we have to WALK THE TALK along the way at each milestone.
So far, weak OBUMMER talks, but doesn't walk.
Well, he is making sense about that, and given his experience with Iran, he should know. Making idol threats is of no value–Obama won't do anything with what he knows about them and threatening them after he sucked up to them at the UN is laughable. God help us all.....Armageddon is not far off.
>I hope and pray that Iran will be induced to permit international inspectors
I hope China never asks us to repay our debt.
I hope radical Islamic terrorists realize the error of their ways.
I hope that Carter's failed policies never again raise interest rates to 25%.
Sure. The Carter administration is what you want to model after in term of policy toward Iran! Idiot!
Carter knows what he is talking about. The cocky-cowboy approach has proven to be counterproductive.
Carter was the WORST prsident in history by causing 20% interest rates and 14% unemployment which is far worse than we have today.
Carter is anti-sematic and pro-islam.
Carter is IRRELEVANT.
I wish that he would JUST GO AWAY.
Carter continues to prove he is a fool, especially as his first foray with Iran worked out so well (sarcasm).
Will someone please put a gag on Jimmy Carter? Please!!!
Yeah - how about a review of Carter's performance with Iran. This is the LAST man in the world that we should be listening too, and CNN does a disservice to its viewers to quote him. I was around in the late 70's - were you?
Sadly President Carter continues his head in the sand approach to the world and his latest stance on Iran is symbolic of his and the Democratic party. Having lived in Iran during the many trials and tribulations of the Ayatollahs and the anti American crusade. I can say Iran is intent on its on political ends to control the Middle East and then the rest of Europe. If not stopped now in five years it will be way to late.
President Carter it would be good if you retired to the peanut farm and left serious world issues to real people and you can continu to live in your fantasy land.
Carter, please please retire. We can not take your opinions any longer. Jimmy really believes you can talk to Iran and they will listen. This guy needs to just go away.
I wish I could say that Carter is a sad, out of touch version of himself while President, but he was this bad as President.
While he was praying during his administration, Iran kept our hostages. What a joke. This guy needs to go away with Cheney and not bother the world.
Carter is a terrible ambassador for the USA.
No Jimmy Carter, We should start another war in the middle east and put not only the Millitary but american civilians living in America at risk of another terrorist attack here in the USA.
SNAKES DON'T BITE UNLESS THEY ARE PROVOKED. The Neo cons don't know that. They profit from wars and don't care who suffers the consequenses. Their only solution to crisis is war period. They forget you can't kill everybody in a country even if you drop the most powerfull bomb on earth because some will escape and will come back and hunt you down day and night making you loose your sleep and making you leave in constant fear.
Sad isn't it.
Always substantiates the fact that he was a terrible president and obummer is following right in his footsteps, only worse.
President Carter has shown the way for former presidents to play a role in world peace. President Clinton has followed the lead of Mr. Carter. Let's hope that President Bush 2 can take the role also. I believe Mr Bush has matured enough to understand the folly of the right and neocons and is ready to use his experience.
We should welcome him back into action.
Jimmy: Please go away! You are one of the people that make this country look ridiculous! In other words – you are a total embarassment!
mr carter has such a great track record. iran's president does too.
wait... all of that is nonsense.... what kind of stupid idiotic person would listen to, reason with, either of these men? dp you have the answer to that?
Jimmy knows soooo much about dealing with Iran. We should certainly listen to this wonderful sage
Neville Chamberlain didn't threaten Hitler and look how that turned out.
A safe bet would be to always do the exact opposite of what Jimmy Carter says about ANYTHING.
Please, President Obama, pretend that the Iranians are Somali pirates....you know what to do.
So far the doplomatic channels have not yielded any positive results in pacifying Iran's thirst to acquire nuclear technology. I am not sure whether they will do any good in future. My question who is giving them all the technology and technical assistance to build these reactors. Should'nt they be questioned about their motives in the first place?
Take the Mic from this awful president and american embarrassment. He was the worst president in most our lifetimes, and continues to be a moron.