"The carrot and stick policy has no benefit," Qashqavi told reporters during his weekly press briefing. "It is unacceptable and failed."But Obama expressed hope in his interview Sunday that the international community could develop a set of incentives that would persuade Iran to alter its nuclear program, which the U.S. and many of its allies suspect is cover for weapons development but Tehran says is focused on power generation."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.Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was elected in 2005 after promising to improve economic conditions for the country's poor. But the hardline president has since been criticized by both conservatives and reformists for his mismanagement of the economy. Economic conditions in Iran have worsened recently as oil prices have plummeted about 70 percent from record highs in July.Obama said the U.S. should step up diplomatic efforts with nations like China and Russia that do business with Iran to convince them to tighten the three round of U.N. sanctions levied against the country for failing to suspend uranium enrichment — a process that can produce fissile material for a nuclear weapon or fuel for a reactor.
Tuesday, December 09, 2008