Iran Rejects Obama’s Ideas as “Unacceptable and Failed”

Iran on Monday rejected a proposal by President-elect Barack Obama that a combination of economic incentives and tighter sanctions might persuade the Iranian government to change its behavior.

Obama said in an interview with NBC’s “Meet the Press” that aired Sunday that the international community could develop a set of incentives that would persuade Iran to alter its nuclear program. The U.S. and many of its allies suspect that Iran wants to develop weapons through its nuclear program, but Tehran says it is focused on power generation.

By NASSER KARIMI, Associated Press Writer

“You know, in terms of carrots, I think that we can provide economic incentives that would be helpful to a country that, despite being a net oil producer, is under enormous strain, huge inflation, a lot of unemployment problems there,” said Obama.

But Iran has rejected past offers of economic incentives by the international community in exchange for scaling back its nuclear activities, a sentiment echoed Monday by Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Hasan Qashqavi.

“The carrot-and-stick policy has no benefit,” Qashqavi told reporters during his weekly press briefing. “It is unacceptable and failed.”

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