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Iran's People Deserve Freedom

The Iranian government says it is considering a proposal by Germany and the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council to curb Iran's nuclear program. The proposal offers incentives to Iran on the condition that it verifiably suspend all uranium-enrichment and reprocessing activities. Enriched uranium is used in the production of both electricity and nuclear weapons.

In a recent speech, President George W. Bush called on the Iranian government to accept the proposal:

"We have presented a reasonable offer. Iran's leaders should see our proposal for what it is – an historic opportunity to set their country on a better course."

The people of Iran should be permitted to "enjoy the benefits of a truly peaceful program to use nuclear reactors to generate electric power," said Mr. Bush. "So America supports the Iranian people's rights to develop nuclear energy peacefully, with proper international safeguards." But, said Mr. Bush, the rights of the Iranian people go beyond civilian nuclear power:

"The people of Iran, like people everywhere, also want and deserve an opportunity to determine their own future, an economy that rewards their intelligence and talents, and a society that allows them to pursue their dreams. I believe Iranians would thrive if they were given more opportunities to travel and study abroad, and do business with the rest of the world. Here in the United States, Iranian-Americans have used their freedom to advance in society and make tremendous contributions in areas from business to medicine to academics."

The United States, says Mr. Bush, "will provide more than seventy-five million dollars this year to promote openness and freedom for the Iranian people":

"These funds will allow us to expand and improve radio and television broadcasts to the people of Iran. These funds will support Iranian human rights advocates and civil society organizations. And these funds will promote student and faculty exchanges."

In these ways, said President Bush, "we can build bridges of understanding between our people."

The preceding was an editorial reflecting the views of the United States Government.