President Obama intends to present a "clear and direct" message to Iran on its disputed atomic activities during a visit to the Middle East later this month, informed insiders quoted him as saying on Thursday.
Obama told Jewish-American White House guests that he would refrain from "chest beating" while seeking to peacefully clear up international fears that Iran's ostensibly peaceful nuclear program is geared toward development of a weapon capability, CNN reported. Still, the president stressed he had not ruled out armed force as a possible means of addressing those concerns, according to one insider.
Meanwhile, a former Iranian nuclear envoy on Thursday said the five permanent U.N. Security Council member nations and Germany should offer Tehran civilian nuclear energy assistance, acceptance of peaceful Iranian uranium refinement and a pledge to eliminate punitive economic measures against the nation in phases.
In return, Iran should forswear atomic armaments through methods including a domestic legal ban; establish means to limit the military utility of its nuclear capabilities; and move to boost global trust over weapon-usable assets, Hossein Mousavian, now a visiting scholar at Princeton University, wrote in al-Monitor. Mousavian said Tehran should also accede to the International Atomic Energy Agency's Additional Protocol as well as the U.N. nuclear watchdog's most up-to-date inspection terms.
Senior diplomats from Tehran met last week with counterparts from China, France, Germany, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States; the sides are slated to convene another high-level session in early April.