June 21st, 2009
11:04 AM ET
11 years ago

Lugar: U.S. should talk with Iran

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/06/21/art.lugarsotu0621.cnn.jpg caption="Sen. Richard Lugar said Sunday that the Obama administration should sit down with Iran in hopes of eliminating Iran's nuclear program."]
WASHINGTON (CNN) – After a week of political protests by Iranians calling into question the legitimacy of the country's leadership, a leading U.S. Republican said Sunday that the United States should still engage in diplomatic dialogue with the Middle Eastern nation.

"We would sit down because our objective is to eliminate the nuclear program that is in Iran," Sen. Richard Lugar of Indiana said Sunday on CNN's State of the Union.

But Lugar, ranking Republican on the foreign relations committee, also said he believes Iranian interest in high-level talks with the U.S. is "totally improbable."

"The reason is: This regime now is under fire," Lugar told CNN Chief National Correspondent John King. "This is not a stable regime in which two people suddenly sit down with the United States. They may not be able to impose their will."

Lugar also said the unrest may open a door for the United States.

"We really have to get into the nuclear weapons. We have to get into terrorism of Iran in other areas of the Middle East. Now we have new opportunity in which we might very well say, 'We want communication with Iran. We want openness of the press. We don't want to have to use Twitter. We want the press on the ground.'"

"In order to have any kind of a relationship, we need to be able to talk to people, hear from people, argue with people," Lugar added.

Tehran insists its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes.

Filed under: Iran • Popular Posts • State of the Union
soundoff (67 Responses)
  1. Arizona

    Right now we need to stay out of Iran let them figure there stuff out by themselves I don't understand these meddling Republicans

    June 21, 2009 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  2. Debbie, former Repub in PA suburbs

    Our "friend" nations, such as Saudi Arabia, are some of the most extreme as far as undemocratic governments, its an actual fake Monarchy, – where women are not even allowed to vote so why is there no "speaking up" on that nation but some feel a need to judge Iran.? Let them sort it out. With such a young populatrion its only a matter of time and Obama's approach will help it a long indirectly but if we get directly involved it will backfire on us and slow progress since they'll claim we are behind the protests.

    June 21, 2009 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  3. GI Joe

    Our representatives.

    No time to fix our problems.

    Took time to work on foreign resolution.

    We're getting screwed on both sides by our representatives (or should I say non-representatives).

    June 21, 2009 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  4. Georgia Peach

    President Obama needs to take a tougher approach and response to the REPUBLICAN TALIBAN FIRST! They are his real domestic enemies. They and the James Brunn will discredit him long before the middle east, will.

    President Obama use some common sense and stop listening to the party of LOSERS. They lost for a reason! Take no advice from those who squandered our country's wealth and respect. All their advise is a SET-UP.

    June 21, 2009 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  5. Peter E

    Gasp! A republican actually says we should use diplomacy first and invade last? Unheard of!

    June 21, 2009 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  6. Limbaugh is a liberal

    So, after months of whining and criticizing the republicans come back with an alternative way of dealing with Iran... that's verbatim the SAME as Obama has been saying all along? Bravo! Nice job!

    June 21, 2009 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  7. John

    WOW. What a brilliant idea. It's obvious to me that this is the only path, and one Obama has advocated since the campaign. Too bad the Bush adminstration wasted the past 8 years with IRAN, NORTH KOREA, SYRIA, and others.

    June 21, 2009 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  8. jersey

    people could care less in united states what happens over there. they made their bed not lay in it

    June 21, 2009 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  9. D. Tree

    Another one of the (few) sensible Republicans who has nothing to prove by making big threats.

    June 21, 2009 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  10. renea

    Maybe you should talk to IRAN Senator Lugar Then you will see its not that easy. Go over there among all the protesting you and your republicans colleuges and sit down and have a talk to the IRANIANS, then come back and give us your report.

    June 21, 2009 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  11. Reinstate Darwinism

    Matt @ 11:30am posted this:

    "So what is our messiah president Obama going to do when the Iranian President decides to unleash Hezbollah on Israel to try and turn the worlds attention away from the crises going on in Iran now"

    To sum up what donkey party said:

    Look at the six day war. Israel has the latest in U.S. military gear and training. What they also have, that most militarys don't, is LOTS and LOTS of practice. They have also made it abundantly clear how much they care about what other countries think of their tactics and their willingness to use force.

    June 21, 2009 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  12. Dan, TX

    Luger has always been a "good" republican. Conservative fiscal and national security, but thoughtful and reasoned in his discussion. This is the type of presidential candidate the repubicans need.

    June 21, 2009 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  13. Reinstate Darwinism

    matt June 21st, 2009 1:05 pm ET

    Donkey Party you are the biggest morone in the world seriously hezbollah is funded and armed by Iran and a Hezbollah rocket attack on Israel and a Israeli retaliation would throw the mideast into more chaos so please before you make anymore stupid remarks get your fact straight and your head out of your butt

    Atleast bother to spell "moron" correctly. The recent actions by Israel more than contradict your statement. The Hamas (not Hezbollah) "rocket attacks" are basically really big bottle rockets that often times hit their own people. The israeli's retaliation to those bottle rockets, was a major ground invasion with the latest in both ground and air military equipment. Again, they get a lot of practice. Did the region (egypt, Syria, Iran, lebanon) do anything different than what they ahve been doing. Nope. Why? Because they know that Israel will pound them into glass.

    June 21, 2009 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  14. David from WI

    ""Most of the US doesn't remember or is too lazy to open a history book or… god forbid… research on the "internet" what the US did… that's right WE did! To not only Iran but alot of the other countries/ethnicity in the middle east.""

    Look a bit farther back in history the British and French colonialism messed up the middle east before the 50s and did the lasting damage. One main reason they are so anti Semitic today was many that took sides with Hitler against the Allies and they fostered and fomented the 20th century hatred of the Jews. (not that Anti semitism originated in the 20th century) British meddling in Arabia and other countries and the betrayals they and the French did is not a small part of why that part of the would doesn't trust the west (not that anyone remembers that far back, it was longer than eight years ago)

    June 21, 2009 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  15. David from WI

    "what a bunch of losers and two faced haters these repugs are."

    Its post traumatic stress disorder after eight years of hearing 'Bush is an idiot'

    Please don't begin to think you are on the high ground when it comes to being critical of a President of the Untied States.

    The left has been psychotic regarding Bush and they still foment and display true hatred to anyone that they disagree.

    The left has no standing when it comes to being critical of a person who is themselves critical of a president. True hypocrisy.

    June 21, 2009 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  16. w.l. jones

    I wish we would pick a fight with our Education system, our kid have to much idle time. The summer should spent debating each other as well what going on in the world and how can they prevent the problem when they take over. We they should have a dilodge with the Iranian kid and do what our adult having a problem with. Bless our kids.

    June 21, 2009 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
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