Skip to: Content
Skip to: Site Navigation
Skip to: Search


Ex-CIA spy: History of failed negotiations shows Iran won't deal

President Obama errs in pushing nuclear negotiation, writes this ex-CIA spy in Iran's Revolutionary Guard. Four US presidents tried and failed. The problem lies in Iran's fanatic ideology. Biting sanctions and US overt support for the Iranian people will bring real change.

(Page 2 of 3)

I was in the Revolutionary Guard then, but as a CIA spy. My Guard commander mocked the Americans for believing Speaker Rafsanjani’s promises. The Iran-Contra Affair, in which US arms sales to Iran funded “freedom fighter” Contras in Nicaragua, ended embarrassingly for President Reagan’s administration.

Skip to next paragraph

President George H.W. Bush continued negotiations to improve US-Iranian relations. I was working for the CIA in Europe then when my American handler told me to consider the more moderate Rafsanjani, by then president, as the new king of Iran. This despite information I had passed on about Iran’s involvement in the 1988 Pan Am bombing over Lockerbie, Scotland – and despite the fact that Rafsanjani and other regime leaders were involved in worldwide terrorism and assassination. The elder Bush’s efforts at negotiation failed.

Then President Clinton attempted to persuade Iran to stop supporting terrorism and to normalize ties with the US. But he also failed to achieve results with Mohammad Khatami, the next Iranian president. President Khatami promised cooperation while secretly purchasing parts for Iran’s nuclear project.

Despite his harsh rhetoric, President George W. Bush, too, approached Iran. In 2006, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice negotiated with Ali Larijani, then Iran’s top nuclear envoy. By the autumn, the Bush administration believed an agreement was set, expecting Mr. Larijani to appear at the UN to announce Iran’s suspension of uranium enrichment as America announced the removal of sanctions.

Secretary Rice showed up for the big event; Larijani never did.

When Obama took office in 2009, he missed the biggest opportunity to support democracy, bring stability to the region, and secure world peace when he wrote Ayatollah Ali Khamenei requesting negotiations. Then, fraudulent elections transpired in Iran, sparking the uprising of millions of Iranians demanding freedom and democracy.


Read Comments

View reader comments | Comment on this story

  • Weekly review of global news and ideas
  • Balanced, insightful and trustworthy
  • Subscribe in print or digital

Special Offer


Doing Good


What happens when ordinary people decide to pay it forward? Extraordinary change...

Danny Bent poses at the starting line of the Boston Marathon in Hopkinton, Mass.

After the Boston Marathon bombings, Danny Bent took on a cross-country challenge

The athlete-adventurer co-founded a relay run called One Run for Boston that started in Los Angeles and ended at the marathon finish line to raise funds for victims.

Become a fan! Follow us! Google+ YouTube See our feeds!