This is one of those stories that really ought to be huge, but probably won’t make many waves in the US. The BBC’s Newsnight has been told by a former senior US government official:
Tehran proposed ending support for Lebanese and Palestinian militant groups and helping to stabilise Iraq following the US-led invasion.
Offers, including making its nuclear programme more transparent, were conditional on the US ending hostility.
But Vice-President Dick Cheney’s office rejected the plan, the official said.
Obviously there is some doubt about any such source’s motivations, but the letter in which these offers were made has been seen by Newsnight.
With the United States making increasingly hostile moves towards Iran, arresting Iranian officials in Baghdad, and contemplating incursions onto Iranian soil to pursue insurgents, these are alarming times. The United States is vastly over-committed in the Middle East already and with two potential “surges” in the works, would struggle to commit to further actions, but there’s no knowing what these people will try.
It’s long been clear from the administration’s actions to undermine nuclear negotiations between the EU and Iran that they have no real interest in any development that doesn’t involve regime change (probably through military action). But this letter is a far clearer confirmation than any we’ve seen to date and its revelations need urgently to reach a wider audience.