Iran: Obama should drop 'carrot and stick'

Dec. 8, 2008 at 8:47 AM

TEHRAN, Dec. 8 (UPI) -- Iran says it won't stop its nuclear program if U.S. President-elect Barack Obama uses the same "carrot and stick" policies of his predecessor.

Speaking to reporters Monday in Tehran after Obama said he would use a "carrot and stick approach" toward Iran, Foreign Ministry spokesman Hassan Qashqavi said the president-elect should live up to his campaign pledge of "change" and abandon the Bush administration's support for embargoes and sanctions, the Islamic Republic news agency IRNA reported.

Iran's nuclear program is peaceful and not meant to produce weapons and the West's approach was "failed and reactionary," Qashqavi said.

"The world major media have admitted that the U.S. policy on Iran has failed, therefore they should accept the reality and nuclear Iran," he said, adding, "They should be ready to recognize our legal rights while we are ready to remove their concerns through interaction."

"In terms of carrots, we can provide the economic incentives that would be helpful to a country that despite being a net oil producer is under enormous strain, huge inflation, a lot employment problems," Obama said Sunday, adding, "We also have to focus on the sticks," such as tighter sanctions.

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