Jimmy Carter calls for US to make friends with Iran after 27 years

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The former US president Jimmy Carter has called for his country to resume trade relations with Iran, which he described as a "rational" nation. Speaking at the Hay Festival yesterday, Mr Carter also suggested the US should provide nuclear power technology and fuel to Iran as a show of goodwill.

"What happens if, in three years time, Iran has a nuclear weapon," Mr Carter asked. "I'm not sure that is going to happen, but if it does, what do we do? They are rational people like all of us in this room. Do they want to commit suicide? I would guess not. So what we have to do is talk with them now and say to them we want to be their friends. The United States must let Iran know that we want to give them fuel and everything they need for a non-military nuclear programme. Twenty-five years ago we cut off trading with Iran. We've got to resume trading to show Iran we are friends."

During the Carter administration , 52 American diplomats were held hostage by the Iranians for over a year, and only freed on the last day of his presidency in 1981.

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Charles K Dilley - 5/28/2008

"Do they want to commit suicide?"

Precisely Mr. Carter! It should not be a facetious question. Some of the leadership has no qualms about dying for their perverse religious notions. Obviously most Iranians do not want to die, but they are not in charge of the nuclear program.