The Islamic Republic rejected the offer, out of fear for the future of the ayatollah regime
(Sharona Schwartz) -- Did President Barack Obama once offer Iran full diplomatic relations as part of his “open hand” diplomacy when he first took office in 2009? That’s what an Israeli paper is reporting.
Maariv’s Diplomatic Correspondent Eli Bardenstein reports in Sunday’s paper (as translated by TheBlaze):
A number of months after he was elected president of the United States, Barack Obama tried to gradually renew diplomatic relations with Iran, to the extent of opening embassies and establishing full diplomatic relations. The Islamic Republic rejected the offer, out of fear for the future of the ayatollah regime. This, according to two diplomatic sources very close to the American administration.
The American offer was part of an overall change in approach to U.S. foreign policy by Obama upon entering the White House. The program focused on emphasizing negotiations and by extending a “diplomatic hand.”
While the body of the report offers no further detail about what full diplomatic relations would mean, a graphic accompanying Maariv’s report (pictured above, beneath the images of Obama and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad) states renewed relations would include: direct flights between Washington or New York and Tehran; granting entry permits for American visitors to Iran and for Iranians to visit the U.S.; “security cooperation and defense of citizens visiting in the host country”; diplomatic dialogue at a senior level; and an exchange of senior officials’ visits.
If true, Maariv’s report provides another example of Obama’s long-held belief that negotiations can stop Iran’s nuclear march.
Full story at The Blaze