Iran on Monday rejected a proposal by U.S. President-elect Barack Obama that a combination of economic incentives and tighter sanctions might persuade the Iranian government to change its behavior. "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 in an interview.
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."
According to the AP, Qashqavi reiterated Tehran's refusal to suspend enrichment Monday and said the U.S. must recognize Iran's "nuclear right" before the country would dispel concerns about its program. "When he talks about change and he says 'we can,' he is expected to change (US President George W.) Bush's confrontational strategy with interaction," he said, adding that Iran would wait to see how Obama acts when he takes office.