November 20th, 2008
04:39 PM ET

How should Obama deal with Iran?

 Click the play button to see what Jack and our viewers had to say.

Click the play button to see what Jack and our viewers had to say.

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

President-elect Barack Obama is inheriting a lot of problems from the Bush Administration including an economic crisis, two wars, and a whole list of international challenges, the most urgent of which is Iran.

According to a new International Atomic Energy Agency report, Iran is continuing to increase its stockpile of uranium and now has enough nuclear fuel to make a single atom bomb.

Watch: Cafferty: Obama deal with Iran?

Iran insists it only wants nuclear energy to fuel power plants, but the United Nations Security Council isn't so sure. It has passed three sanctions resolutions demanding Iran suspend its nuclear program. The Tehran government has ignored them all.

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad told the United Nations in September, "As far as we are concerned, the nuclear issue is resolved."

The Bush Administration joined European-led negotiations late in the game and actually sent some representatives to Tehran to meet with the Iranians, but to no avail.

Two months from today, it will be Barack Obama's turn. He has indicated a willingness to negotiate with Tehran, but this IAEA report could complicate matters considerably.

Here’s my question to you: How should Barack Obama deal with Iran when he takes office?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Warren writes:
Jack, President-elect Obama should do exactly as he promised in his orations. Serious dialog and no pre-determination. This kind of attitude is exactly what the United States needs to re-establish its credibility on the world stage and negate the current administrations destructive policies.

Mike from Genoa, Wisconsin writes:
Just because they’ve got this nut case for a vocal leader doesn't mean we need another war. There are sensible people in Iran that know what they are doing is not in their best interest. Seek them out and with honest support maybe we can help change the region without firing a shot. No one's saying it's going to be easy.

Randy from New York writes:
Diplomacy first, sanctions second and war third. Bush got it backwards.

Thomas writes:
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has already proved that he isn't playing with a full deck with his statements about Israel. He definitely should not be allowed to have any type of nuclear activity. A person that shoots off his mouth about destroying a whole race of people should not even be allowed to have a box of matches.

Amir writes:
I think President Obama has to wait until June of next year to see the outcome of the Iranian presidential election before initiating any talk with Iran. Unlike what most people think here in the west, Ahmadinejad is not popular at all in Iran, and he could very well lose in the upcoming election.

Steve writes:
Keep a close eye; do not over react. We do this all the time, making our enemies "ten foot giants" while that country is decaying from within. All the money we spent to defend against the U.S.S.R. would sure come in handy now.

Filed under: Barack Obama • Iran
soundoff (304 Responses)
  1. Dave, Brooklyn, NY

    Speak softly and carry a big stick – as he has been doing.

    November 20, 2008 at 12:48 pm |
  2. Page Sausman

    Engage Iran in dicussions and diplomacy much like Reagan did with Mikhail Gorbachev. Stand-up to Iran's nuclear and political ambitions, and let them know that if they touch Israel: the gloves are off.
    Page Sausman in Boise, Idaho

    November 20, 2008 at 12:49 pm |
  3. Linda Voigt

    He should work with them to restore normal relations, get out of Iraq and assure Iran that the USA is no longer interested in empire building in the MIddle East. He also needs to work with Israel to get them to adopt a more reasonable attitude as well. The USA needs to abandon the British Empire, stop trying to sustain and expand it. Those days are gone, we can't afford it either in terms of economic support, the immiorality of it, and world opinion. We need to work with other nations, not threaten them and force them into their version of the Bush Doctrine, pre-emptive attack.

    November 20, 2008 at 12:52 pm |
  4. Frank from Peterborough

    Since it is a fact most ordinary Iranians have good feelings about the U.S. it should be possible to diplomatically forge a good relationship with Iran within the next few years.

    Remember the hard feelings with the current Iranian leadership comes from the U.S.'s support for the Shah of Iran before he was ousted by the current administration.

    November 20, 2008 at 12:56 pm |
  5. Lucas in Pawling, NY

    With smart diplomacy and, if necessary, with an iron fist.

    November 20, 2008 at 12:57 pm |
  6. Michael in Western PA

    Get the dialogue going with the low to mid level mangement. Exchange the ideas with Iran, fly back to DC for a townhall meeting with Obama 's advisors, make a plan, then implement towards Iran. Let's remember, Iran wants peace and security like every other nation.

    Negotiate baby negotiate!!!!!!!

    GO STEELERS, PENS!!!!!!!!!

    November 20, 2008 at 1:01 pm |
  7. Jim


    Diplomacy first! We don't need another half-baked Bush war. He should make use of whatever friends and assets we have over there to keep them under surveillance and isolate them if they persist in trying to develop nuclear weapons. A preemptive strike on an enrichment facility is a last resort.

    Reno, Nevada

    November 20, 2008 at 1:01 pm |
  8. Dave from Orlando

    He should state that he has evidence of weapons of mass destruction, that they have a nuclear bomb with our name on it, that we are just 45 minutes away from a nuclear attack, then, for humanitarian reasons, invade the country with underwhelming military force… wait a minute, I think we tried that once – didn’t work out so well.

    November 20, 2008 at 1:02 pm |
  9. Katiec Pekin, IL

    Well, the first thing he should do is communicate with them.
    We have had an administration that has felt they are above
    negotiating with anyone.
    With Barack Obamas intelligence, judgement and sincere
    concern for all the world, much could be accomplished by
    recognizing and listening to others.

    November 20, 2008 at 1:03 pm |
  10. CJ Marsicano

    It definitely doesn't involve taking instructions from a parody of a certain Beach Boys song...

    November 20, 2008 at 1:03 pm |
  11. Mike S.,New Orleans

    Obama should deal with Iran using the same tact, diplomacy, intelligence and strength that he has exhibited throughout his campaign. In other words, don't threaten to "Smoke em' out of the foxhole' or catch them "Dead or alive." The cowboy circus is over.

    November 20, 2008 at 1:06 pm |
  12. lee in tn

    At least make an attempt to resolve the differences before we go in shooting up the place. And, if we do,I am sure he will get the consent of the Congress.

    November 20, 2008 at 1:07 pm |
  13. David, Tampa, Fl

    We need to reestablish some sanity in our international affairs to overcome the effects of the current administration. While we will always have differences with many countries views, we need to get away from the "my way or the highway" mind set. Obama would do well to begin a dialogue with Iran and others to lessen tensions. I don't like theocracies of anykind but we need to at least talk to each other.

    November 20, 2008 at 1:09 pm |
  14. Bruce from Sugar Loaf, NY

    We should try all out diplomacy with Iran. iran's current president is only a figure head. he is not the last word on Iranian foreign policy. The Iranian people do have great respect for the US, especially now that the US has elected a president with an Islamic sounding name. Obama should bring in other players like France and Russia into the fold as partners in gaining diplomatic levarage with Iran.

    November 20, 2008 at 1:09 pm |
  15. Frank, Atlanta, Ga

    He should deal with them with smart and intelligent forethought without preconceived prejudices and then be dilerberate with his actions.

    November 20, 2008 at 1:09 pm |
  16. karen-phoenix

    Talk, talk and more talk!!!! No threats to world–no bombs, just talk, and talk some more!!! Do this with ALL our so called enemies. AND after this Bush administration, I'm beginning to think we have become the axis of evil. Obama needs to change our image to the world. NO MORE WARS!!!!!!

    November 20, 2008 at 1:12 pm |
  17. Richard - Knoxville TN

    Well, having Hillary (nuke 'em) Clinton as Sec. of State isn't going to help matters is it??
    Knoxville Tennessee Centrist -

    November 20, 2008 at 1:14 pm |
  18. Rose in Az

    Go sit down without preconditions and talk to them like he said he would. It will be interesting to see how far he gets since Iran wants to blow Israel off the map, then Obama can tell Israel, he is sorry.

    November 20, 2008 at 1:15 pm |
  19. Kel in Auburn, AL

    Hit them with a missile first thing January 21st!!! Nah, just kidding. He should keep doing what he's been doing. Surrounding himself with smart advisors, and considering every move very, very carefully.

    O's a smart guy. He'll figure it out.

    November 20, 2008 at 1:17 pm |
  20. George

    He should explore every avenue that is available by first using more diplomacy, sticks, and carrots, with all alternative options left on the table until all else has failed. It is my hope that by using a little common sense( unlike Bush) that we can avoid another Iraq.

    November 20, 2008 at 1:18 pm |
  21. Tom in Desoto, TX

    John McCain, Ambassador to Iran – McCain seems to have had an answer to Iran during the campaign, let's see him back up his talk.

    November 20, 2008 at 1:18 pm |
  22. hugh ~ tracy, california

    This topic is above my paygrade. Obama should be diplomatic, but firm in his convictions. He said that if Iran produces a nuclear weapon it would be unacceptable. Should diplomacy fail and Iran doesn't allow inspectors into its nuclear facilities Obama should warn them that if the United States has proof of its nuclear ambitions, he will seek the approval of the U.N., and take them out.

    November 20, 2008 at 1:18 pm |
  23. Marnie

    Barack should deal with Iran real fast since it now appears they have enough stuff to make one atom bomb.

    Lancaster PA

    November 20, 2008 at 1:19 pm |
  24. Bob D, Morristown, NJ

    He should engage in the kind of tough but direct diplomacy he described during his campaign, starting at low levels, but escalating as progress is made. We should be willing express our intent to forswear the type of regime change, as we committed in the 50s in Iran (overthrowing a democratically elected regime in favor of the despotically torturous and despised Shah), and all other threats that allows Iran to justify possession of nuclear weapons for defense, in exchange for their abortion of .their nuclear weapons program.

    November 20, 2008 at 1:20 pm |
  25. John in Santa Barbara, CA

    Obama should gather a coalition of other nations and they should reach a consensus, and inform Iran that the world will not tolerate their possession of an A-Bomb, or their support of terrorism. We should no longer go it alone.

    November 20, 2008 at 1:23 pm |
  26. Stacy from Loudoun County VA

    Jack, the United States engaged the Soviet Union in direct talks during the height of the Cold War. Those talks often were contentious, not much was accomplished at times, but occasionally breakthroughs occurred such as the SALT II Treaty. President Obama should deal directly with the Iranians and not wince when detailing the consequences of supporting groups such as Hezbollah, attacking US troops in Iraq, and their pursuit of nuclear weapons. Every diplomatic effort should be exhausted and if that fails, then and only then should a military solution be examined.

    November 20, 2008 at 1:24 pm |
  27. Karen - Nashville

    I don't know. This is why we elect intelligent presidents and trust them to surround themselves with competent advisors, diplomats, and military personnel.

    November 20, 2008 at 1:24 pm |
  28. mackawee

    First of all by recognizing that talking to Iran dosen't mean a weak position. Making clear that talking and listining to each other is civiliezed way of finding a common ground to deal witheach other. Iran has to recognized that they have a good chance of representing their case, and to look positively to the political and economical benifits they might gain. They have to be realistic and recognize that there are certain points that no one will accept, and it is up to them what they want out of this chanse. And to be part of the wider world.
    Mackawee- The Netherlands

    November 20, 2008 at 1:29 pm |
  29. Marie Ontario

    I think it would be wise for everyone to realize right now Iran is strapped with an idiot as their President. Americans should be able to relate to Iran's plight after suffering through the past 8 years.

    If reports are any where near correct most ordinary Iranians are a peaceful group with good feelings toward America then diplomacy and common sense will likely prevail.

    It doesn't matter what country you refer to they will all develop their own means of self defence in a violent world. Every nation has the right to defend it's soveriegnty so it isn't likely Iran will relinquish this right. Nuclear weapons are a fact of the 21st Century and most if not all countries will sooner or later acquire these for their own defence.

    November 20, 2008 at 1:31 pm |
  30. Terry from North Carolina

    In the chaotic world we live in diplomacy has to be the answer, the big stick days are over our military is strung out and we cannot afford another third world adventure.

    November 20, 2008 at 1:33 pm |
  31. Cori from Colorado

    With diplomacy, and common sense.

    November 20, 2008 at 1:36 pm |
  32. Jason, Koloa, HI

    Do exactly the opposite of what John McCain would do.

    November 20, 2008 at 1:39 pm |
  33. Les Oklahoma

    Its obvious that ignoring and threatening them is not doing any good
    like Bush has been doing for the last eight years how about carrot and sticks and trying to deal with the real leader in the country.

    November 20, 2008 at 1:39 pm |
  34. Terence

    Jack, McCain had the answer in a song. BOMB! BOMB! BOMB! IRAN. We better do it soon before we all go bankrupt and cannot afford to do it. Terry, Piscataway, NJ

    November 20, 2008 at 1:42 pm |
  35. Mary from Houston, tx

    If Carter can achieve peace talks with Sadat and Begin, then there is always hope that diplomacy can work.
    The current administration's mentality of violent retaliation brings us to the level of the violence that leaves little hope for a solution to the history of the middle east.
    We must strive to find a way to peacefully coexist with respect toward all, even those who hold different views, if there is to be hope for mankind.

    November 20, 2008 at 1:42 pm |
  36. Christine, Upstate NY

    He should try an approach that the world no longer thinks we are capable of: intelligent deliberation. In the non-Western world, Western thinking never works when it is presented with arrogance and self-righteousness. Nations such as Iran have incredibly old and rich histories and traditions that first must be understood and respected before we can hope to effect anything constructive and long-lasting in our relations with them. Let's all hope and pray that it's not too late for us to be taken seriously and not just hatefully.

    November 20, 2008 at 1:43 pm |
  37. Jack from Lombard, IL

    He needs to work with the UN and find a peaceful solution to the situation. People around the world, including the people in the Middle East are supportive of Obama (except for those supporting terrorism). Obama has an opportunity to reach out to the people of Iran, which will put pressure on their government.

    November 20, 2008 at 1:45 pm |
  38. Conor in Chicago

    He should inform the Iranian leadership that our policy has completely changed and that we no longer support the apartheid state of Israel and that we really don't care what they do anymore. We shall also inform them that any nuclear strike on the US will be considered as an attack from Iran as they are the only country in the Islamic world (save Pakistan, and we'd have samples to prove it was them or not) that is close to this technology. This might also inspire them to help with terrorism as they will now understand that any dirty bomb in the US will be blamed on them. This would lead to their destruction. Of course you won't even post this since it is apparently illegal in this country to consider cutting Israel loose.

    November 20, 2008 at 1:47 pm |
  39. raymond j. lopez

    talk to iran and if the leaders of iran don't want to accept this method then use the leverage we have in the current financial delema. i know this sounds crazy, but arn't we bailing out 134 other countries? isn't iran and the middle east in the 134 countries? weren't we told by the news media that this bailout plan included 134 other countries?

    November 20, 2008 at 1:48 pm |
  40. Lynn, Boise, Idaho

    Very, very carefully.

    November 20, 2008 at 1:49 pm |
  41. DT in the Desert

    Well Jack...

    As a staunch, compassionate conservative, straight ticket voting Republican, I hate to advocate the usage of violence, innocent bloodshed, war and destruction to others.

    But...its always worked for me!

    November 20, 2008 at 1:51 pm |
  42. Ajay Sharma, Mason OH


    Dealing with Iran is not an easy thing now that we have messed up the counter balance that was Iraq. We need to include such countries as China, India and Turkey in the conversation as these are countries that have an interest in a stable Iran. Taking the UK, France and other European countries has not solved anything and it would be worthwhile to realize that the new economic powers of India and China are those that you want to bring to the table and have in discussions with Iran to see if they can peacefully rejoin the community of nations. If all else fails, impose sanctions!

    November 20, 2008 at 1:56 pm |
  43. Greg in Cabot AR

    Meet with Iran, talk with them, try to come to some sort of consensus about living together on the same planet, exchange a friendly “fist-bump” with them…. then, smile, wink and say something like…things can get a whole lot more physical than a friendly fist-bump if do something stupid.

    November 20, 2008 at 1:56 pm |
  44. Annie Florida

    with intelligence and firmness as he has been doing...unlike you know who

    November 20, 2008 at 1:57 pm |
  45. Bill, Quarryville, Pennsylvania

    The Obama administration should express to Iran that there are many options open to them and the United States, that are peaceful ones and in both countries interest to pursue. But Iran with nuclear weapons and statements of destroying Israel isn't one of them.

    November 20, 2008 at 1:58 pm |
  46. Garren

    First, recognize the problem for what it is.Ask yourself some questions.
    1.Is this problem resolvable?
    2.If not, what can I do to ease or adjust to it?
    3.Are others involved and are they as interested as I in resolving the issue?
    Second,your attitude.Be determine that you will not knowingly be part of whatever the issue is and the situation is on its way to being resolved.

    November 20, 2008 at 1:59 pm |
  47. Jackie in Dallas

    I think we can safely leave this to President Elect's exceptional sense of diplomacy. If they need firmness, I'm sure he will find a non-threatening way of being firm. What we DON'T need is yet another war front in the Middle East!

    November 20, 2008 at 2:01 pm |
  48. Doug in New Mexico

    Talk! Communication is the key to improving any relationship!!!!! Wars and rumors of wars will lead to wars. Has there not been enough death lately?

    November 20, 2008 at 2:02 pm |
  49. Allan Hanson Cameron Park Ca.

    Why are we worried about them or anybody having a couple of nuclear weapons. We as well as Isreal have thousands. We could wipe them off the face of the earth.
    The "cowboy" mentality is over.
    hope we have learned something.I

    November 20, 2008 at 2:04 pm |
  50. mac from traverse city Michigan

    President Obama should lay out very clearly and publicly to the leaders of Iran a policy that could best be described as "if you do this, we will absolutly do this". The one extreme being if you use weapons of mass destruction on your neighbors we will absolutly use our might to return your country to the stone age. The other extreme being if you help us stop radical islamic terrorism we will absolutly use our resources to help bring you into this century. Reagan assured the old Soviet Union an attack on us would result in their own Annihilation and they new he meant it. We need to promise Iran the same.

    November 20, 2008 at 2:04 pm |
  51. D. R. Texas

    Leave them alone !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    November 20, 2008 at 2:05 pm |
  52. Paul S. Columbia, SC

    Put Iran and any other sponsor nation of terror on notice. If you first harm us or any of our allies, you and your country will be oblitherated immediately. No ifs, ands or buts. Have a nice day.

    November 20, 2008 at 2:05 pm |
  53. David in Granville, Ohio

    Jack I have lived in the Middle East. The Arab states consider – quite correctly in my view – that Palastine was stolen to form Israel.

    Now I am a firm supporter of Israel but neither believe that it can do no wrong nor that its formation at the expense of Palastine was morally correct.

    Therefore asking Iran to recognize Israel – the typical precondition for talks insisted upon by all American politicians to date – is asking Iran's president to loose face with huge portions of his population. After that, what would be the point of meeting?

    Much better to meet, as Obama has consistently suggested, with careful preparations but no preconditions to negotiate a pragmatic way to reduce tensions in the region.

    November 20, 2008 at 2:06 pm |
  54. Bill from Medford, NJ

    Iran is developing nuclear technology "for domestic energy" (that is, for weapons) and has some pretty scary long-range missiles.

    Not wanting to invade Iran and take the technology away from them, we are developing anti-missile missiles. We want to install them in Eastern Europe.

    Russia considers this a dangerous provocation and has vowed to target our anti-missile sites.

    Maybe the question should be "How should Obama deal with Russia?"

    November 20, 2008 at 2:07 pm |
  55. vern-t anaheim,ca

    talk with them maybe we can solve our differences and as it's said "nothing ventured nothing gained"

    November 20, 2008 at 2:07 pm |
  56. C. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    Obama has to cut the little Iranian dictator off at the knees, he is not the top man in charge of Iranian policy making. Until that happens Obama must keep the pressure on Iran with the support of all allies.

    November 20, 2008 at 2:08 pm |

    Talk Communication and carry the Big sticks as well!

    November 20, 2008 at 2:08 pm |
  58. John in Arizona

    He should appoint bomb-bomb-McCain as special envoy and scare the bejeebies out of Iran.

    November 20, 2008 at 2:12 pm |
  59. lynnej

    First, we have no troops, so talking big won't work. So you have to converse with Amadinajad and the clerics who are the real power of Iran.

    We have to communicate. With oil prices plunging, Iran's swagger won't be as robust and maybe something can be accomplished.

    November 20, 2008 at 2:13 pm |
  60. Mickie

    Of course first he should have his people gather their own data about Iran. I would consider anything the Bush/Cheney administration gathered as "tainted". I would not put it past them to set Pres. Elect Obama up for a great disaster. Pres. Elect Obama is a lot smarter and diplomatic than any of the bullies in office now.

    November 20, 2008 at 2:14 pm |
  61. Frank, Tampa

    Certainly not the shoot first, ask questions later approach that Bush used,
    Jack. But that being said, Obama won't start it , but he'll certainly
    finish it.

    Can't we just all get along, Jack?

    November 20, 2008 at 2:15 pm |
  62. Michael and Diane Phoenix AZ

    Obama should be firm, but has to be open to any talks...Going back to TR's "speak softly and carry a big stick" , and that means with the likes of China, N Korea, and possibly Russia. I don't know if anyone can deal with the terrorists organizations since they don't represent any one country.

    November 20, 2008 at 2:15 pm |
  63. Brian from Fort Mill, SC

    He should consider building a missile defense shield in Iraq. Kuwait and Israel. This will accomplish two things:
    1. It will show Iran that we are a coalition that is determined to protect these countries.
    2. It will also empower Iraq to build its own defenses. Once they have the confidence to fight on their own, they won't need us to wipe their noses for them.

    November 20, 2008 at 2:16 pm |
  64. Ken - Hudson Florida

    Short and Simple, Talk to them, and find a common ground to build upon.

    November 20, 2008 at 2:16 pm |
  65. Anthony Maffia Brooklyn NY

    First of all we need to back away from the exclusionist attitude we have had for the last 8 years, you know the you do what I say or you’re against me. And engage the Iranians in talks. When you back someone into a corner or give them only 1 choice you severely limit any positive outcome. I for one will not miss the Bush Doctrine at all!

    November 20, 2008 at 2:17 pm |
  66. C in Belen, New Mexico

    He has done well so far. Offer to negotiate without preconditions. If they refuse, that reduces their standing, not the United States'. If they accept, perhaps common ground can be found that will reduce tensions and lead to better relations...

    November 20, 2008 at 2:18 pm |
  67. Scott - Kansas

    He should continue sanctions, make it a criminal offense for an American company to do business with them, and prepare to have to enforce the UN Orders that Iran is ignoring.

    November 20, 2008 at 2:19 pm |
  68. D - Atlanta

    Hopefully, he will send a diplomat in to have talks with them – try to figure out where we agree and disagree and see if we can find common ground. Clearly, the bullying tactics of the last eight years have failed abysmally. He should make it clear that Israel is and will always be an ally. That said, diplomacy and negotiation should always be the first approach.

    November 20, 2008 at 2:20 pm |
  69. Dave in Saint Louis

    Bomb Bomb Bomb...Bomb Bomb Iran

    November 20, 2008 at 2:20 pm |
  70. Jack in DC

    First order of business on Iran should be to open a diplomatic post in Tehran, sit down with the Iranians and offer them help on alternative sources of energy other than nuclear power. In return, the Iranians should dismantle all their nuclear facilities and let UN inspectors access to all nuclear facilities.

    If the Iranians are telling the truth about peaceful nuclear power, they will be receptive to this proposal and abandon their nuclear dreams.

    If the Iranians are not objective and everything has been exhausted, then we should just go in and level-off the facilities and quickly get out.

    What more can do?

    November 20, 2008 at 2:22 pm |
  71. Joe in DE

    Should pick a solid Ambassador and have him see if there is worthwhile discussions possible. In the mean time transfer several batallions from Iraq and depoly some along the Iranian border Consult allies on a plan of action.

    If they continue nuclear weapons developement and no progress, then hit the nuke sites with missles.. OF course, be prepared for any attempted response.

    November 20, 2008 at 2:22 pm |
  72. Teeps, Pt Huron, Michigan

    He should have face to face talks with them. We cann't keep trying to push our believes on the world. Now that the war monger Bush is gone, we need to make up for all the dammage he has done.

    November 20, 2008 at 2:23 pm |
  73. JD in NH

    I don't know, Jack, that's why I voted for Obama. He's a whole lot smarter than the vast majority of us. I trust he'll figure it out.

    November 20, 2008 at 2:24 pm |
  74. Cliff, Front Royal,VA

    Iran knows what it needs to do that includes UN inspections. They need to deal with it.

    November 20, 2008 at 2:25 pm |
  75. John Illinois

    Jack what with more countrys favorable to Obama the US may have more clout to insist on cooperation to drop nuclear weapons and go to energy. Communicate to them if not war is the only solution not only with us but the World!!!

    November 20, 2008 at 2:27 pm |
  76. devil dog palos park ill

    say to them we will leave you alone and you do the same, stay in you own country, and we should do the same,

    November 20, 2008 at 2:27 pm |
  77. odessa

    diplomacy must be taken care of..don't let it be another strike without any reasoning like bush did...if they don't agree, make aggressive actions towards them and prepare whatever is necessary to prevent another war..

    November 20, 2008 at 2:28 pm |
  78. Sara

    Diplomacy, diplomacy and diplomacy. Iranians are a proud nation with 3000 years civilization. They don't tolerate to be threatened with military means. I hope that Obama keeps his promises and starts talking to Iran without pre- conditions. I am afraid if he makes Hillary his Secretary of State, that would make it hard to do. After all it was her who suggested to bomb Iran with nuclear bombs.

    November 20, 2008 at 2:29 pm |
  79. Paulette,Dallas,PA

    He should have his Secretary of State do the preliminaries and try to strike favorable conditions for the two countries to set up diplomatic relations and a dialogue. If and when these steps are achieved,he himself may meet with Iran's top leaders. It would be nice to try and solve some of our differences diplomatically rather than militarily.

    November 20, 2008 at 2:29 pm |
  80. Kerry Diehl

    What he will do and what he should do will be two different things.

    Obama will still be speaking with Iran past the point of them fully developing nuke weapons. He'll probably still be talking even after the first weapon is used on Israel or us – be it Iran or some crazy faction they give it to.

    Speaking to Iran is a waste of time and viewed as a sign of weakness for them and will be leveraged in their pursuit of "Western Destruction".

    Sadly, this will be another "I told you so" in the end.

    November 20, 2008 at 2:30 pm |
  81. Michael from Greenfield, Wi.

    Directly, with an open no nonsense, yet honest dialogue. Which is the way that we should deal with all of our friends and foes alike. And I believe that is exactly what he is going to do. What a breath of fresh air.

    November 20, 2008 at 2:31 pm |
  82. Maggie Muggins From Selwyn

    It would appear most Nations in the world are either threatened by or have been subject to terrorism. Terrorism has no country only self serving ideals therefore Iran is not the enemy of the world but rather the terrorists who have no country.

    Diplomacy and tact by the Obama administration will eventually succeed with more understanding between the Arab countries and Israel. Sooner or later all nations are going to unite against the one common enemy and its just a question of when.

    Remember most of the terrorists on 9/11 were Saudis not Iranians or Iraqis.

    November 20, 2008 at 2:33 pm |
  83. Warren Riley

    Jack, President-elect Obama should do exactly as he promised in his orations. Serious dialog and no pre-determination. This kind of attitude is exactly what the United States needs to reestablish it's credibility on the world stage and negate the current administrations destructive policies.

    November 20, 2008 at 2:33 pm |
  84. Brad in Wichita, KS

    The president will only be able to influence the course of action of "rogue" regimes through collaboration with our allies. Nothing else will produce fruit. This is why we must first repair those tattered relationships. The western world must be united in its approach.

    November 20, 2008 at 2:34 pm |
  85. Venia PA

    With his usual diplomatic, brilliant self.

    November 20, 2008 at 2:35 pm |
  86. Dot, Miss.

    Kill him with Kindness.

    November 20, 2008 at 2:36 pm |
  87. Russell, Seattle, WA

    Engaging them is a starting point but he has a lot of work to do internationally. We can't and should not go it alone.

    November 20, 2008 at 2:37 pm |
  88. Sher

    He can deal with Iran by diplomacy which is something that was unheard in the Bush Administration. Once we exit from Iraq, I believe the relationship between Iran & the USA will be one of tolerate BUT Obama is no fool, he knows that you bring your friends close and your enemies closer so you can see what they are doing. Once President Obama heal the wounds made by Bush to the world leaders by our invasion in Iraq, then the door to diplomacy will be open with more participation from our allies as it relates to Iran and others.

    November 20, 2008 at 2:37 pm |
  89. Paula NY

    I'm sure he has this figured out already....and I trust he will do the necessary things that will bring this situation under control. He and his team know the mechanics of this better than you and I will ever know.

    November 20, 2008 at 2:38 pm |
  90. Michael Eggebrecht


    Just because they got this Nut Case for a vocal leader doesn't mean we need another war. There are sensible people in Iran that know what they are doing is not in there best interest , seek them out and with honest support maybe we can help change the region without
    firing a shot. No one's saying it's going to be easy.

    Genoa, Wi.

    November 20, 2008 at 2:39 pm |
  91. jon hoffman

    Recognizing that Iran is a failed economic state requiring a $95 barell minimum oil price just to break even; a divided government with the mullahs, not the pres. in charge of the military or the futureNukes; a very unhappy educated poulation and a long term foreign policy to expand Shia Islam against the Sunni neighbors (all are Sunni); Obama should set up direct talks with all of these factions, avoid a monolithic approach, include the neighbors in consultation and carry the big economic oil stick in a steel fist covered by a velvet glove.

    Jon in Calif.

    November 20, 2008 at 2:39 pm |
  92. George in Jersey

    Obama should quickly withdraw the troops and contractors, then give funds to the next Iraqi government to fix the repairable damage we've done.

    November 20, 2008 at 2:40 pm |
  93. susan from Idaho

    Calmly and firmly just like he deals with everything else. Our military may compromised right now but if they act threatening the rest of the free world has a lot to lose by not coming to our aide.

    November 20, 2008 at 2:40 pm |
  94. Steve Martin

    Keep a close eye, not over react. We do this all the time, making our enemies "ten foot giants" while that country is decaying from within. All the money we spent to defend against the USSR would sure come in handy now.

    November 20, 2008 at 2:41 pm |
  95. Larry from Georgetown, Texas

    Say a simple prayer that they go away forever and when the reality is that they didn't go away or change their ways try a little diplomacy, this will all be 1000's times more than the current administration has done in this or any area.

    November 20, 2008 at 2:42 pm |
  96. Ginger H -- West Melbourne, FL

    If we do basically nothing in Darfur and other places where women and children are being systematically raped and tortured, then we have no right to get into Iran's business than we did in Iraq. Showing muscle to men with oil means absolutely nothing if we will not help those who really need it.

    November 20, 2008 at 2:42 pm |
  97. John

    When President Obama officially can act, he should make it clear to Iran what the United States considers as Iran's potential dangers to the United States in a diplomatic way and if forced to, will otherwise make it clear the United States will protect itself in all areas concerning Iran and the Middle East.
    Pampa, TX

    November 20, 2008 at 2:43 pm |
  98. Sherrol in Canada

    With diplomacy in one hand and a big stick in the other!!

    November 20, 2008 at 2:43 pm |
  99. George in Jersey

    We just need to leave Iran alone.

    November 20, 2008 at 2:43 pm |
  100. Tom Ft Lauderdale


    Obamas will win the war in the middle east by bringing America to energy independance. Iran, Iraq, Syria will fade into history when America refuses to fund their hatred

    November 20, 2008 at 2:44 pm |
  101. Tina (Ft Worth)

    Obama has a full plate here. Let Iran deal with their own mess but keep a watchful eye on them. We are drowning into a Depression and we are still worried about Iran? Please, people wake up. Fix America first then the rest of the world. Has anyone thrown us a bone? No but we sure throw them around the world.

    November 20, 2008 at 2:45 pm |
  102. Byron

    I would say work with them, but we know the US can't. The United States is way too heavily invested in Israel, and they (Israel) don't like Iran. Also, Obama has jumped onto the "Israel should rule the middle east" band wagon. With a foreign diplomacy attitude like that I wonder why people seem to be puzzled as to why the US can't make any headway in that area.

    If the US worked with Iran, not only would we be have one less possible enemy, but it may help all the relationships in that area of the world.

    November 20, 2008 at 2:45 pm |
  103. bian

    The smartest decision to deal with the iranian president should be only talks around a gigantic dinner.I mean american hospitality.For the success of this operation,Obama can invite him in the white house and offer him the presidential suite over full of the most valuable american beauties in order to help him relax.When all this is done,he can now go forward with negociation.If not ,to catch this big fish will be the toughest chore of his mandate.

    November 20, 2008 at 2:46 pm |
  104. Daniel Ambrose


    He needs to have a meeting with the U.N. and use the proper rules of engagement. However, we still just cannot sit back and wait for the big gang boom to occur. Iran is a major threat and should be dealt with seriously. Now that this country has a new commander in chief, like Joe Biden says, this country and new administration will be tested. The question is are we ready?

    Atlanta, GA

    November 20, 2008 at 2:47 pm |
  105. Francis, MN

    Send Sarah Palin over on a conversational sabatical with Ahjmadenijad.

    November 20, 2008 at 2:47 pm |
  106. Keith - Ohio

    And we were told that Saddam had Weapons of Mass Destruction, so we invaded Iraq.

    Should we use the Bush logic or the Obama logic on this one.?

    November 20, 2008 at 2:48 pm |
  107. Linda in Florida

    One of the traits Barack seems to possess that W doesn't is empathy; i.e., he is able to put himself in the other person's shoes. With his empathy, superior intellect, tact and diplomacy he will be able to find a common ground on which to start a dialog with them.

    November 20, 2008 at 2:48 pm |
  108. Randy from Salt Lake City

    What should Obama do about Iran? What can he do? Since AIPAC dictates US Middle East policy, he'll have to do what they and his duel nations on his staff tell him to do. So, Isreal will probably instigate a confrontation with Iran and the US will be drawn into it. And more US soldiers will die for nothing.

    November 20, 2008 at 2:50 pm |
  109. jon

    Follow what T.R. said “Speak softly and carry a big stick", (which is what Obama has been doing) and if that dosnt work then do what Mccain said "bomb bomb Iran."

    November 20, 2008 at 2:51 pm |
  110. F Machado - Connecticut


    November 20, 2008 at 2:52 pm |
  111. Nick from PA

    Watch them closely and make it known we have no intentions of fighting, but should they strike, we will respond in kind, and quite swiftly at that. If things are starting to look like it will reach that point, it would be wise to step in and attempt peaceful or semi-peaceful negotiations. I guess I'm doing a pretty bad job explaining things, I'm a little deprived of sleep lately. Basically he should take the sort of approach Reagan did with Mikhail Gorbachev, but be more than willing to crush Iran if they attack.

    November 20, 2008 at 2:52 pm |
  112. C from Georgia

    Of course – he should nuke 'em! Mission Accomplished! USA! USA!

    Oh wait, that was GW's approach... Diplomacy. Calm. Rational. Discussion. And if it fails, work with our Allies to come up with a plan instead of more Shrub Diplomacy...

    November 20, 2008 at 2:53 pm |
  113. Nancy, Tennessee

    The United Nations needs to step up to the plate over this new report. Surely, the U. S. is not the only country that worries about Iran having an atomic bomb. We need diplomacy and economic sanctions imposed to help Iran understand that nuclear arms are not what they really want to have. If someone told you to give up your weapons or you don't get food supplies, you would think twice about how good that weapon was going to taste on your plate when you get hungry. Plain and simple - we don't need Iran in possession of a loose cannon called a WMD.

    November 20, 2008 at 2:53 pm |
  114. Jay, Niagara Falls, Ont

    He should be friendly, he should converse, keep an open mind, and not bully. People respond to fairness and respect. Bush's 8 year 'my way or the highway' experiment obviously failed...what an opportunity to try something new.

    November 20, 2008 at 2:54 pm |
  115. Annie, Atlanta

    Diplomacy, diplomacy, diplomacy.

    November 20, 2008 at 2:55 pm |
  116. Teri, Tallahassee, Fl.

    Whatever actions Obama feels necessary to take, he should work with our allies and the other nations in the UN to accomplish that.

    November 20, 2008 at 2:57 pm |
  117. Gina in Racine, Wi

    One word , Jack :


    Something the Bush Administration knows nothing about.

    November 20, 2008 at 2:58 pm |
  118. John in NC

    Jack, the answer to this is so obvious. Since we elected Obama all of the rest of the world loves and respects us, so all he has to do is ask them to stop.

    November 20, 2008 at 2:58 pm |
  119. Dennis North Carolina

    He needs to build world partners to deal with Iran.

    November 20, 2008 at 2:59 pm |
  120. John, Fort Collins, CO

    Fortunately for Barack Obama he can delegate all dealings with Iran to his new Secretary of State, Hillary Rodham Clinton. As she repeatedly pointed out during the campaign, only she has the experience and ability to tackle dangerous situations like Iran's nuclear ambitions. It would be a great opportunity for her to show off what she can do.

    November 20, 2008 at 3:02 pm |
  121. William Allen

    He should do what he said he would talk and use Diplomacy in those talks...better to make friends than enemies,...we all have to live on this Planet.so why destroy it ?

    William Allen N.B. Canada.

    November 20, 2008 at 3:02 pm |
  122. thomas taylor

    Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has already proved that he isn't playing with a full deck with his statements about Israel. He definitly should not be allowed to have any type of nuclear activity. A person that shoots off his mouth about destroying a whole race of people should not even be allowed to have a box of matches.

    November 20, 2008 at 3:04 pm |
  123. Roland, SC

    As all have said, strong, intellegent, diplomacy; not capitulation. We must stop this falicious and duplicitous precept that the US is responsible to curtail selective nations from having nuclear power [arms]. As was said in 1945, once the nuclear genie is out of the bottle, there's no putting it back. With blackmarket sales of technology, hardware, and fissial materials rampant, it's absurd to target any one nation for pursuing nuclear development. World diplomacy wrought the first arms limitation agreements, not threats to soveriegnty. It's a world issue, not one between the US and Iran. Truth be known, the instability of India v. Pakistan is a much greater threat to nuclear security.

    November 20, 2008 at 3:05 pm |
  124. David,San Bernardino,CA.

    Actually sit down with Iran and have a civilized discussion.

    November 20, 2008 at 3:07 pm |
  125. Terry in Hanover County

    First, treat President Ahmadinejad with the respect he craves. Bush's use of threats didn't work. Perhaps, President Obama and other world leaders should sit down with him and talk. If that fails, then more sanctions. If that fails, then we're looking at forced removal from office or possibly another war. If that fails, then nothing would have worked. If he nukes Israel or the U.S, we'd better be prepared to living a nightmare without end. Until then, pray hard that the people of Iran vote him out of office soon.

    November 20, 2008 at 3:08 pm |
  126. Irv Lilley

    Jack , Very cautiously. Especially since western leaders like him need to learn what makes middle eastern minds think . Educate the American public as to what is really going on behind the scenes.
    Don't keep the people in the dark. Don't slant the news. Publish the facts.

    November 20, 2008 at 3:09 pm |
  127. Ralph Peoria, Il

    Just let them know that we will not allow them Nuke-U-Lar weapons.

    Sorry about the spelling. When you let yourself be led by idiots, you will eventually become one.

    November 20, 2008 at 3:10 pm |
  128. Tom in Dubuque

    Jack, he should tell them "stop the path your taking , or you can wait for the Israeli's to act" We know Israel has the means and the will to act and have their own nuclear weapons with a delivery system.

    November 20, 2008 at 3:10 pm |
  129. don in naples, florida

    the middle east will never be happy with the u.s. there. Iran is one of those dissenting countries who will stick to their beliefs and not give in to any type of demands or pressure made upon them by an outside country like the u.s. After hearing the anti-semitic remarks made by Iran's leader and considering how close the u.s. with israel, it doesn't seem like there is any chance of Iran caving to any type of u.s. diplomacy talks. So our newly esteemed leader will have to ask himself, how far is he willing to give in to iran's demands, and is he willing to engulf this country in another war when those demands are not met?

    November 20, 2008 at 3:11 pm |
  130. Carl d. in Illinois

    In my opion, Mr. Obama should have a sit down talk with the leader of Iran. Listen to his advisors about the problems we have with Iran, and than make his own decision. The world according to Bush was War first, talk later and you see where that fool got us. Our so called leaders need to learn that the United States is not the Police of the world. We as a country have to start looking out for our citizens first instead of rebuilding the Schools, Roads and Bridges of Iraq.

    November 20, 2008 at 3:12 pm |
  131. Arsenio Lobo

    I believe President Elect Obama should keep the same policy as the Bush Administration , until Iran shows that It is willing to change the way it conducts it self in the world. Iran needs to stop sponsoring terrorism, it also needs to become more democratic, and stop trying to acquire Nuclear weapons.

    November 20, 2008 at 3:12 pm |
  132. Peggy in OR

    Hey Jack,

    Right now Iran has two of it's borders with American Troops next door. Hopefully, with the cowboy out of office, they will not feel so threatened Remember, we gave Saddam weapons to fight against Iran before. We gave the Taliban weapons to fight the Russians. Iran has probably always felt at any time there would be American aggression, and if Obama REALLY makes them believe that this is not the case, I think they will not make a bomb. Why can't we offer them new technologies besides nuclear for some of their energy needs? If Canada and Mexico had foreign troops on our borders, we would be happy we had our bombs! I think that's where Iran's nuclear ambition lies, IT'S OWN PROTECTION!

    November 20, 2008 at 3:13 pm |
  133. Hope M. Madisonville, KY

    What he has said he would do, open diplomatic relations but
    be sure they are on notice that nuclear weapons are not an
    option if they want to be respected by the rest of the world and if
    they do get them and use them, game over.

    November 20, 2008 at 3:14 pm |
  134. john kennison

    Pres Obama needs to take a page out of the Kennedy Pres, of the cuban missle crisis, and add that which we all believe in world peace.

    November 20, 2008 at 3:19 pm |
  135. tom

    Jack, Worst sinerio about Iran, they let a bomb go, Bush retaliates and declairs marshall law and freezes the nomination of Obama. If i read the laws right, he can do it! I don't trust that Bush clan. Bush put us in one war and i think he would do it again. He wants world domination. Metropolis, Ill ( home of superman)

    November 20, 2008 at 3:20 pm |
  136. earle,florida

    Iran's people are fed up with there leader Mahmoud ,and are about ready to vote him out of office, all past promises of prosperity,and job creation haven't come to fruition under his tenure. The only source of GDP is oil related,and there countries infrastucture is antiquated regarding the fostering of new industry. Obama would be wise to offer ,"Three Carrots to One Stick",in helping this misguided country out of it's economic duldrums. The citizens of Iran are very educated, and the last thing they would want is a nuclear show-down with the United States.

    November 20, 2008 at 3:20 pm |
  137. Jan from Delaware

    Obama is an intelligent, calm man. He is aware of the stakes and he knows how to play the game. He should politely acknowledge the congratulatory letter for now. Once in office, he should insist that Iran allow complete access to their nuclear program so that it can be determined if it is a threat to the world.

    November 20, 2008 at 3:21 pm |
  138. mitchell ,arkansaw

    direct talks ! if you want to be seen as a beacon of light in a dark world, let yourself be seen and heard, loud and clear. ignoring them and threatening them will make nothing better. look em in the eye and let them know where you stand.

    November 20, 2008 at 3:21 pm |
  139. Judy, Exeter, Calif,

    I don't believe the extremists are the majority in Iran. I would like to see Obama sit down with their leaders and negotiate a peaceful resolution. The hearts and minds of the people are more important now than ever before. Obama has the calm demeanor that can be very reassuring to many. I trust he and Joe Biden to do what is best for all.

    November 20, 2008 at 3:23 pm |
  140. Micah Miller of Canton OH

    Multi-lateral talks including diplomats from all the Middle Eastern countries willing to conference. He needs to take a firm stance on Iran but it would be nice to (A) include the rest of the world in said stance and (B) to let Iran's neighbors weigh in. One of the reasons we have such difficulties with Iran as it is is that we invaded their next door neighbors without so much as a diplomatic curtsy.

    November 20, 2008 at 3:23 pm |
  141. John

    Jack: Plan diplomacy with an agenda for any formal or informal meetings. Talking about mutual problems. No more talk of blowing them away. Iran knows we will not take the military option off the table. Iran will not stop enriching nuclear material. The USA and Europe must win their trust to get them to stop their nuclear plans. The last 8 years have been a diplomatic failure except for North Korea.


    November 20, 2008 at 3:24 pm |
  142. I. B., Rocky Mount, North Carolina

    When dealing with Iran, President-elect Obama should use strong diplomacy, big carrots and big sticks.

    November 20, 2008 at 3:24 pm |
  143. Charlie

    Wow – such anger here about how Bush handled this. He didn't bomb Iran and as you say sent representative to Iran to no avail. The people here that think the middle east will fall in love with Obama and all the world will be at peace are so sadly mistaken. All Obama can really do is try and negotiate, just like the presidents before him. The real trick will be to keep Israel from bombing the hell out ofthem..

    November 20, 2008 at 3:25 pm |
  144. Lenore in Kansas

    He needs to start talking to Iran. Like it or not it's the only option in a dangerous world. There's room for a lot of hope because absolutely nothing of any substance or sense has been tried by the Bush administration, so injecting some sense into this issue might yield some surprisingly good results.

    November 20, 2008 at 3:25 pm |
  145. Roland

    It's good that President Obama wants to open dialogue with Iran, but I think he should continue to stand in solidarity with the U.N. Security Council resolutions on this issue and force Iran to surrender all of their uranium or face continued sanctions. And in the spirit of Reagan, we need to "trust, but verify" that they follow through.

    As all of us who went through the cold war period know, the fact that Iran already has enough uranium to build a single A-bomb is legitimate cause for concern. The threat of nukes aside, the history of war/tension between Iran and Iraq is already a major complication in our ability to withdraw from Iraq and ensure the safety of the Iraqi people once we are gone, especially with a sociopath like Ahmadinejad in control of Iran. And to make matters worse, if Iran is allowed to acquire enough uranium to implement a full-fledged nuclear program (under any pretense), the unfortunate reality is that we will need to occupy the region indefinitely.

    St. George, UT

    November 20, 2008 at 3:26 pm |
  146. Kim, Dodge City, Kansas

    He could remind them that the United States has been the only country that has actually used a nuclear device against another nation, so unlike Iran, we have a history of not bluffing, and that Iran should consider this before it makes any rash decisions. That may sound like aggressive posturing, but it is a fact not to be ignored. Plus it provides an extremely strong position to negotiate from.

    November 20, 2008 at 3:27 pm |
  147. garrick

    hi jack
    carefully,but forceful
    bay pines fl

    November 20, 2008 at 3:28 pm |
  148. Anthony from North Carolina


    He should not implement the same strategy as President Bush which has been a failure. President Elect Obama should make it known to them in the clearest terms that the United States is willing to work with them if they immediately stop their nuclear program to build weapons, training terrorists to create havoc in Iraq, and cease with the hate filled rhetoric regarding Isarael: else If they continue on the path, United State will use its diplomatic, economic and military power to defeat them.

    November 20, 2008 at 3:32 pm |
  149. Doc

    It seems hypocritical that we are discussing a leader of his country wanting to have nuclear power just like the United States. We want the rest of the world to be like us so its only fair that they should have nuclear power as we do. Its not like the Iranians have a crazy dictator who would do something like allow his friends to raise the price of fuel so high that it devastates his country's economy as well as the global economy. We have enough issues here to worry about. Let them have their nukes and if they try to use them against us, we give new beachfront property to the countries that border Iran

    November 20, 2008 at 3:34 pm |
  150. Diana NJ

    Almost anything they do will be better than we have been doing.

    November 20, 2008 at 3:34 pm |
  151. Praetorian, Fort Myers

    He should remain adamant about nuclear weapons.
    He should engage them in multi-lateral talks with all arab nations who are willing to participate in developing plans for the next decade to reduce crime, poverty, war, and pestilence.
    He should insist the U.S. be a partner in the talks–because of our decades of foreign and military aid to the region.
    He should ensure the leaders of Iraq are aware he will retaliate immediately at the first sign of military aggresion to the U.S. or any allies (including Israel).
    He should be just as charming and optimistic as he was during the campaign.

    November 20, 2008 at 3:35 pm |
  152. Bruce St Paul MN

    In the words of Michael Corleone, make them a deal they can't refuse.

    November 20, 2008 at 3:35 pm |
  153. Diane Memphis

    I listened to President of Iran before the UN and the man's speech made me gasp. President-elect Obama should call upon the UN for a remedy.

    November 20, 2008 at 3:36 pm |
  154. David Pickett Janesville WI

    P-e Obama has got to deal with this very sure-footed every step of the way. P-e Obama must not follow the mistakes that W. has made regarding WMDs in Iraq.

    November 20, 2008 at 3:37 pm |
  155. Allen L. Wenger

    I think he should wait until he is president to do anything.

    Mountain Home ID

    November 20, 2008 at 3:42 pm |
  156. me46

    It is not the USA's responsibility to police the world. Europe is in much closer proximity to Iran and they should take the lead. The U.S. should try to normalize relations with Iran while letting them know that they cannot promote the destruction of Israel or any other nation without facing extreme consequences.

    November 20, 2008 at 3:43 pm |
  157. Sideswiped

    The best way of course would be to let Bill Gates air drop free computers into Iran with Internet access so these folks that live there would know really what is going on not what their misguided leadership tells them. Covert operators infiltrating the gentry may work as well winning the hearts and minds of the people. Trade relations regarding exchanged of goods such as our wheat and corn for their oil would be another good start as well as releasing all the economic sanctions placed on the decades ago as well as releasing their tied up assets.
    It did not help that Kermit Roosevelt and the CIA removed from power one of their leaders that the citizenry freely elected into power only to have him removed from power by a stage coup orchastrated between Great Britian and the United States in the interest in pillfering all their oil. Jimmy – Rockville Maryland

    November 20, 2008 at 3:43 pm |
  158. Meg Ulmes

    I think that our new President will handle Iran with wisdom, fairness, and toughness. He has already shown his metal during the campaign and so far in the transition period. The Russians have already been negative, because they know that they're not dealing with the usual suspects anymore. I trust him and his team to do the right thing.

    Troy, Ohio

    November 20, 2008 at 3:44 pm |
  159. Ed from Ne.

    Sit down and talk with them and find out what they really want

    November 20, 2008 at 3:44 pm |
  160. David in San Diego

    He should undertake discussions at a high staff level (p[erhaps Secretary of State) with the aim of finding common ground with the moderates in Iran and not adding impetus to the most anti-American segments. He shouls signal quite clearly that the days of "They know what we want, so there is no need to talk" are over.

    November 20, 2008 at 3:46 pm |
  161. Ellie, Kansas

    Put out the cheese and wait until the (rats) take the bait!

    November 20, 2008 at 3:48 pm |
  162. Vinnie Vino


    The time to talk is over, because the Government of Iran has clearly demonstrated their total disregrad for the dipomatic process to reslove this matter peacefully. It's time for President-Elect Obama to show the rest of the World he is not a push over and take out Iran's nuclear program...

    C.I., New York

    November 20, 2008 at 3:48 pm |
  163. Brian - Trinidad

    What do you mean,Jack?Didn't both Biden and Obama say that they were going to bypass the Iranian president and talk directly to the Mullahs etc,whom they described as the real power in Iran?And isn't that why we all laughed at Sarah Palin?Because she didn't know the real situation in Iran?So now that he's elected,Obama is going to do the same as Sarah Palin would have done,i.e. avoid direct talks and start some low level talks?What a joke!

    November 20, 2008 at 3:59 pm |
  164. Pablo, Charles Town, WV

    Encourage the Iranian leadership to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the nuclear energy they are developing is for peaceful use and is in no, way, shape or form designed for nefarious means. He should invite the true leaders of Iran (not Ahmadinejad) to visit the U.S. and have a peaceful discussion about how we can all better address the needs of the planet, and not just our own selfish aspirations.

    November 20, 2008 at 4:00 pm |
  165. Michael "C" Lorton, Virginia

    Jack: How Obama deals with Iran is going to be his "first test" in foreign affairs and relations. Obama needs to get advice from VP elect BIden on the best strategy in dealing with Iran. If I were Obama, I would increase the sanctions because I believe that no resolution with be forthcoming with diplomatic meetings. The Iranian government is "splenetic," and they will always remain. Increase the economic heat.

    November 20, 2008 at 4:01 pm |
  166. Allene from Leawood, Kansas

    He and his advisors need to formulate a clear policy toward Iran, and then decide how they will implement that policy by using diplomacy, not military action. This would probably require preparation and negotiations at several levels before Obama himself meets with the president of Iran to finalize an agreement which is acceptable to both sides.

    November 20, 2008 at 4:01 pm |
  167. Hans, Alabama

    how about talk softly but carry a big stick? Seems a lot better than the loud yelling "axis of evil" stuff we have seen the last 8 years.

    November 20, 2008 at 4:03 pm |
  168. SAM in NH

    Slow, easy and start off low level, but move up rapidly to SoS. Give them attention, an ear, but be firm, forcefull, before talks with the President.

    November 20, 2008 at 4:03 pm |
  169. Dottor Giorgio da Sasso Marconi

    Let Obama engage in diplomatic discussions with Ahmadinejad who did allready come to Columbia University, N.Y.,N.Y. to speak last year. The peace talks will produce favorable results and assuage the Iranian leader's fears that the U.S.A. continues to empower Israel for the annihilation of Iran and the Islamic states in the middle East!

    November 20, 2008 at 4:04 pm |

    Mr. Obama should let the UN handle it first. It is not our baby to rock. We can't police the world. As the last resort, then he could talk with them.

    November 20, 2008 at 4:04 pm |
  171. Maggie in NY

    Hi Jack, let's get this country off of its independence on foreign oil ASAP, and then we won't have to worry at all about those countries. Green baby green!

    November 20, 2008 at 4:04 pm |
  172. Michael watching from Canada


    Obama has to study Iran carefully and understand its vulnerability and needs. In doing so, Obama can craft a strategy that leverages America's ability to address Iran's needs and exploit its vulnerability in such a way that gives Iran motivation to cease any efforts to build a nuke and to cooperate with the US in stabilizing the region.

    November 20, 2008 at 4:05 pm |
  173. Phil in KC

    I favor the carrot and stick approach. But we need to be sure of our facts. For, while nuclear armed Iran is unacceptable, how can we deny them the means to generate electricity and improve the lives of their citizens?

    November 20, 2008 at 4:05 pm |
  174. Larry

    Jack –

    He should work w/ them…And if they want to build up an arsenal to protect theirselves, so be it….We ( the U.S. ) cannot patrol every country and continent on the globe…they should protect theirselves ONLY if provoked…….We are talking about another country coming in and just Bombing Them, without no reason…..That won’t happen, so that being said, if they want to spend their money building bombs & guns & every kind of weapon they can think of , or come up of, then let them GO….We don’t have to DO ANY trade w/ them, PERIOD.


    November 20, 2008 at 4:05 pm |
  175. Jenny from Nanuet, New York

    He should send Hillary to talk to them.

    November 20, 2008 at 4:08 pm |
  176. William Courtland

    The United States should attempt to fix in a major way Iraq, and thus create a zone of comfort for Iran to find reason and an olive branch.

    As far as measures for global nuclear control; The IEC must be beefed up and allowed total monopoly over nuclear fuel production and sale, and must also have corporation to internationally store and refine nuclear wastes.

    By the Security Council and all nuclear active nations.

    As far as trade(i have heard rumors of a new treaty for international infrastructure)

    November 20, 2008 at 4:10 pm |
  177. Acton Gorton

    I think extreme caution should be used with Iran. To me, they look like they are posturing to draw America into a conflict in order to ferment hatred with the Islamic community in the Middle East.

    November 20, 2008 at 4:10 pm |
  178. Jason - Raleigh, NC

    I think Obama should deal with Iran on a firm but diplomatic stance. He should let them know he means business but a the same time is willing to listen and compromise effectively without international conflict.

    November 20, 2008 at 4:10 pm |
  179. Thad from Minnesota

    Offer Iran a really good deal on a Chevy Trucks in exchange for the nukes! They have amble fuel to run them and look what easy access of fuel gobbling vehicles has done for the US.

    November 20, 2008 at 4:11 pm |
  180. Sarah

    I think he should first engage them diplomatically to try and resolve this issue but I'm not confident of his success with Ahmadinejad (although he might be replced in the upcoming elections). If all else fails he should take a leaf out of Isreal's book and how they dealt with the Syrian nuclear site.

    November 20, 2008 at 4:11 pm |
  181. Abby

    Iran is not stupid to use the bomb even if it gets it. What are they going to do with it? drop it somewhere and then be wiped off the face of the map

    November 20, 2008 at 4:11 pm |
  182. russ white

    definately not handle it like bush did with iraq. if they're willing to talk then by all means obama should talk with them. if not, then a show of force with the backing of the american people and other countries would be the next logical step.

    November 20, 2008 at 4:11 pm |
  183. Virginia Hammon

    Assure that we have a full team of professionally trained, experienced, expert mediator/ facilitator/ negotiators, and then, negotiate.

    November 20, 2008 at 4:11 pm |
  184. Ann Boleyn

    Iran has every right to have nuclear power for their energy needs. I think we should take our long stinking nose out of their affairs. If they then show signs of building nuclear weapons then take action but not until then.

    November 20, 2008 at 4:11 pm |
  185. Bob

    Nuke them.

    November 20, 2008 at 4:12 pm |
  186. Annette


    The same way he was against the Iraq war. Wisely.

    November 20, 2008 at 4:12 pm |
  187. Willie Brewster

    Barack Obama should definitely take the most logical diplomatic approach with this matter. WIth terrorism and stress of nuclear proliferation worldwide, we can not afford to truly add Iran as a prominent United States enemy. The UN should join forces in attempts to negotiate with Iran.

    November 20, 2008 at 4:12 pm |
  188. Kwame

    I think Obama should do the opposite of what Bush did, that is talk directly to Iran, I don't think it is too late to stop this whole nuclear debacle. We just saw that threathen Iran will not reslove anything but diplomacy and end the war in Iraq and Afghanistan is the way to prove then the middle east that we are not here to stay.

    November 20, 2008 at 4:12 pm |
  189. Debbie Fraser

    Maybe if for once the United States went in to Iran as an equal and not thinking it was better than the rest of the world and treating its President with the respect your President deserves, then perhaps two people meeting for the first time on equal footing can have a serious, diplomatic discussion. The rest of the world, including Iran, does not see itself as the United States see everyone else – through jaded glasses.

    Debbie from Canada

    November 20, 2008 at 4:12 pm |
  190. Saucy

    I think he should start high level talks with Iran asap. I see people on these boards are impassioned with ideas on how to deal with this but many miss the purpose of a president in running a country such as ours. If there is one lesson we have learned over the past eight years is that this country as great as it is, is not liked by its allies and are even worse disliked by enemies. Now although talking with every terrorist that wants to blow us up is not the answer and never should be, understanding the powers that we have and the influence of certain actions in terms of the world is greatly important. At a time when the world sees us as a possible bully, constantly keeping in confrontation with Iran will only make the situation worse. However, if we show the world that it is not us that are not willing to deal with the issue but instead Iran, then that will give us ample leeway in the future that could only be erased if Iran cooperates. Sometimes the best way to deal with a situation is not really to attack them directly but to allow them to make the mistake themselves. That is called smart diplomacy and its something I think Bush did not realize but Obama does. If the world backs us in the goals against Iran, what bad comments could Iran actually say that could change their minds? Nothing if we have the worlds support. Now is the time to be smart not willfully ignorant.

    November 20, 2008 at 4:12 pm |
  191. Andrew Crane

    The U.S. cannot preach to Iran about nuclear weapons programs when we have thousands of warheads. Worldwide nuclear disarmament is long overdue and Obama should initiate it.

    November 20, 2008 at 4:12 pm |
  192. Myles Lowery

    I don't know what Barack Obama should do with Iran. We can tell them no, but what good is that going to do? We can't really invade Iran, can we? We don't have enough money to do that. The United States of America is on it's knees right now, and we really can't worry too much about this situation. We need to grow our economy and quick. Everything else is just gravy until then.

    November 20, 2008 at 4:12 pm |
  193. Maria Argott

    Barack Obama should stand strong and speak loudly...I'm tire of hearing about Iran..Let's hope this administration can finally put this topic to rest.
    Maria, Tujunga, CA

    November 20, 2008 at 4:12 pm |
  194. Shay from Canada

    By first extending the olive branch of peace and sending a thank you message to Iranian President for congratulating him on winning the US election. The act of warming relations with Iran needs to take place before any meaningful diplomatic discussion can take place.

    November 20, 2008 at 4:12 pm |
  195. Erik Bauer, Las Vegas, NV

    Obama should ask Bush what he would do. And then he should do the exact opposite.

    November 20, 2008 at 4:12 pm |
  196. Carl O'Hair

    With an offer of diplomacy but with a huge club on his shoulder just as TR did.


    November 20, 2008 at 4:12 pm |
  197. tiff of Lithia Springs

    Barack to come to a collective understanding with the international commununity that if Iran can not govern themselves according to international standards, they should be prepared for stiff international sanctions. That includes no apparent threats to Isreal.

    November 20, 2008 at 4:12 pm |
  198. Joe.

    Obama should use full force diplomacy with Iran to reach a level of mutual understanding of our interrelated interests. The last time I checked, no one can justly hold a monopoly on information, which is all nuclear weapons are: education put to use. Iran has a right to nuclear weapons just as much as America does. If Obama is wise, and wants to win this so-called "war of ideas" it will be done by fortifying our culture with better ideas.

    November 20, 2008 at 4:13 pm |
  199. Pat from Toronto

    Jack I think Iran needs to be put on the back burner. The US has a economic nuclear bomb ready to implode at anytime. If that happens it will send a sign to those countries like Iran that the USA will be financially unable to meet any hostile threat. Deal with the economy first. Money is power. We all know that!!

    November 20, 2008 at 4:13 pm |
  200. Patrick

    It's simple, Jack. cut off our steady supply of cigarettes to the Iranians (as it's our biggest export to Iran) and watch the addicted masses rise up against the Government. That or pressure the entire world (Including the arab ones, which now like him) to force Iran to give up the Nukes

    November 20, 2008 at 4:13 pm |
  201. lisa frye

    keep your friends close and your enemies closer

    November 20, 2008 at 4:13 pm |
  202. Kenneth Silverman

    It doesn't take a Rocket scientist to figure this one out....Well, maybe it does.... Bomb Them

    November 20, 2008 at 4:13 pm |
  203. Kyle In Chicago

    I know one thing, the longer you provoke this guy the longer he won't back down. If you talk to him, not deal, not negotiate but talk instead of just sit there and look stupid you may get somewhere, but what do i know? I'm just a middle class citizen.

    November 20, 2008 at 4:13 pm |
  204. Jon from Tempe, Az

    He should talk to Ahmadinejad just as he said he would but he should be very firm. When he talks to him he needs to let him know in no uncertain terms that the U.S. will not tolerate a nuclear weapon from Iran and that if Iran does make a weapon there will be swift and complete actions to deal with it. He should go to war with Iran as a very last resort. I do not think he would go to war in haste as Obama does not seem to be hawkish. I have full confidence in Obama's ability to deal with this.

    November 20, 2008 at 4:13 pm |
  205. Mike

    Let them have their nuclear weapons! BUT make it abundantly clear that ANY attempt to use them will be met with overwhelming NUCLEAR retaliation. That might make them think twice, as long as WE clearly show have the guts to make good on the warning...

    November 20, 2008 at 4:13 pm |
  206. Shirley -AK OHIO

    Obilterate them.

    November 20, 2008 at 4:14 pm |
  207. Avinash Gadre

    USA should resolve problems with Iran thru discussions and economic sanctions only. Wars create more problems at home and abraod.

    November 20, 2008 at 4:14 pm |
  208. Sal

    Since we obviously have bags of money to give away, I think we should just get competitive bids from companies like Blackwater to go in and deal with Iran.

    November 20, 2008 at 4:14 pm |
  209. Erick Gonzalez

    Look, Barrack Obama is a figure of change, he needs to start a dialogue with Iran asap, give them something and demand change in return. Iran is like every other country out there, money is the language they all understand.

    November 20, 2008 at 4:14 pm |
  210. Lou Seidel

    Jack, President Obama should immediately go before Congress and the nation and tell us they have weapons of mass destruction in Iran. Then we will invade, blow everything up, kill innocent people....never mind.

    Baytown, TX

    November 20, 2008 at 4:14 pm |
  211. Andrew

    President-elect Obama must end the politics of exclusion demonstrated towards Iran. For years, western powers have looked at the "Glorious Persian Civilization" in a condescending manner and never given it the voice it deserves. No wonder they don't like us! We also can't forget that the Iranians have been seeking nuclear power for decades, this is not a military issue, but rather an issue of domestic stability for the Iranian people.

    Tucson, AZ

    November 20, 2008 at 4:14 pm |
  212. Siddique - New Hampshire


    Obama should treat the matter rather delicately and very carefully. The only way to approach Iran is what Obama has always said during the campaign, that is to use diplomacy. And I hope he meets Ahmedinajat without preconditions.

    November 20, 2008 at 4:14 pm |
  213. Anna

    He should build Iran the nuclear power plants it needs: Their people would have sufficient and clean energy for the first time in history, the anger and frustration that allow them to be dragged into terrorist activities would be alleviated, and Ahmedinejad would no longer have any excuse for amassing more uranium.

    November 20, 2008 at 4:15 pm |
  214. James W. Blevins

    Nuclear fuel cannot be used to build a bomb without a great deal of additional enrichment - no fuel has been found at anywhere near that level of enrichment. Ultimately, this is a clash of religions. Obama needs to deal with this problem without religious bias.

    Jim, Craig, CO

    November 20, 2008 at 4:15 pm |
  215. Pat

    Jack: I don't pretend to know the answer of how to handle Iran, but I do believe Obama will handle foreign affairs including this one much better than the LAME duck president has done.
    So far I have been impressed with his willingness to bring in experienced people to his staff and I feel he is handling the transition with great dignity and I am sure he will handle foreign affairs in the same manner.
    It does not bother me that the people he has chose are Washington insiders. They are experienced in the field and that is, of course needed. The changes in Washington will be policy as Obama promised and that is what counts.
    We have already seen the great joy at his election, bringing our country together as well as many foreign countries, and that is a positive for the first time in years.
    Pat in Oregon

    November 20, 2008 at 4:15 pm |
  216. Ray Pippin

    How should Obama deal with Iran?
    He should resign at once and go back to Chicago and work as a community organizer and let someone with some experience in these things do what they have the ability to do. Flying through a storm with a pilot who has never flown solo is scary.... Ray Pippin Gallatin, TN.

    November 20, 2008 at 4:15 pm |
  217. Sharon Garren

    The problem with nuclear energy is that it has to be buried (think Nevada) or re-processed. Re-processed nuclear waste gives you ... weapons grade uranium. So Obama needs to stop ALL nuclear energy. Think that will work? Countries all over the work are re-processing uranium.

    November 20, 2008 at 4:15 pm |
  218. Josh Ayers

    Has this ever been considered...Obama could offer to subcontract a U.S. based firm/company to build the facilities of nuclear power for them and also be run by the U.S. If Tehran wants neuclear power so bad then this shouldn't be an issue. At least the neuclear material would be in the proper hands, a win win situation for all!!

    November 20, 2008 at 4:15 pm |

    He should engage in talks based on their willingness to negotiate...if not...then find a way to sanction

    November 20, 2008 at 4:15 pm |
  220. Mark Luster

    It might be easier for Obama if he just sat back and let Israel take care of this: there's been some concern about Israel bombing Iran's nuclear facilities recently, as they have done in the past. Let them do it for us. It's not like we won't back them up, but at least we won't be directly blamed. Cynical? Sure. Welcome to the 21st century.
    Tempe, AZ

    November 20, 2008 at 4:15 pm |
  221. Addie Corn

    I think that Barack Obama should sit down with President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and in his calm, colletcted way, make things right.
    I KNOW he can do it!!

    November 20, 2008 at 4:15 pm |
  222. michael webb, SF,CA

    Hey Jack,

    The Iranians are demographically very young and chafe under the rule of the Mullahs.
    By being himself and being reasonable, that alone is more powerful than any policy change we have made in decades.
    It will not take more than fairness to bet the Iranian public behind him. The Ayatollahs will need wheeling and dealing just like old U.S. politicos.
    We have what they want, they have a lot of what we want, get the nukes off the front page and into the backroom and something will get done.

    November 20, 2008 at 4:16 pm |
  223. Corey Yow

    President-Elect Obama should do exactly what he promised in his campaign. That is to talk openly and honestly, with Iran with no preconditions. To think the United States is entitled to more than any other country is narsisistic and pretty immature. And yes, Jack, I am proud to be an American.

    Corey, 24, Baltimore, MD

    November 20, 2008 at 4:16 pm |
  224. Walter Agume

    US should engage with Iran diplomatically and secondly offer she some sort of energy alternative incentives to replace the Nuclear plants Iran is developing for compensation.

    November 20, 2008 at 4:16 pm |
  225. David, New York

    He should drop the popular ideology of Iran being "evil" and accept the facts as they are - Iran will be a nuclear force. He should treat them as such. Will this mean we have to accept things from Iran we won't like? Absolutely. But that's a problem of our own making - we've been telling the world for years they have to accept the US point of view, like it or not, because we have the muscle to make them do it. It's inspired every petty dictator out there to get nukes of their own. The only other alternative is for Obama to forge a foreign policy based on something other than force, but I'm not holding my breath on that.

    November 20, 2008 at 4:16 pm |
  226. Uzo

    I think Obama should deal with Ahmadinejad the way he wants to be dealt with...like a rational human being that may actually have good intentions with its nuclear program. So far, sanctions and threats have not worked. Everyone knows that US has a nuclear program...so Iran wonders, why tell us what to do when no one is telling you what to do...

    November 20, 2008 at 4:16 pm |
  227. Ernie NY

    Dear Jack,
    He has to make sure that noone takes him for a pushover. First country to get in his way and it looks like Iran might be that country. He has to strike and strike hard. After that he can speak softly. Teddy didn't just carry the big stick. He used a few times first. Thats why people listened later.

    November 20, 2008 at 4:16 pm |
  228. Ruth of New Jersey

    I think President Obama should talk with the Iranians first. There has to be some kind of dialogue before jumping to conclusions. He has to get the facts on what, when, how. and why. Then based on the information received, he should be able to decide how to handle them.

    November 20, 2008 at 4:16 pm |
  229. Steven from Newton County, AR

    Regarding Iran, it would be wise to speak at length with the Shiah –who are a significant following in Iraq and Iran. We may need to allow Iran to assume a stabalizing feature to the region. The real front is Pakistan. We will certainly need an ally in that region in order to have any hope of securing let alone stabalizing the region–otherwise! Allow the goodness and mercy to show the way.

    November 20, 2008 at 4:16 pm |
  230. Gip, FL

    I think he'll have to ask China first!

    November 20, 2008 at 4:17 pm |
  231. Amir

    I think President Obama has to wait until June of next year to see the outcome of the Iranian presidential election before initiating any talk with Iran. Unlike what most people think here in the west, Ahmadinejad is not popular at all in Iran, and he could very well lose in the upcoming election. That is if he chooses to run for office again.

    Having said that, I believe President-Elect is absolutely right about his approach towards Iran. Diplomacy is the only way to go. And Iran is more than willing to restore its ties with the US, which once was Iran's biggest ally.

    November 20, 2008 at 4:17 pm |
  232. Adam

    Even though I will never forgive Iran for November 4, 1979, I realize that isolation simply isn't a viable option. Obama will have no choice but to work with Iran as much as possible. Negotiate as needed, but also issue a statement (and adopt a policy) similar to Kennedy's statement/policy on the Soviet Union regarding Cuba's missiles:

    "It shall be the policy of this nation to regard any nuclear missile launched from Iran against any nation as an attack on the United States, requiring a full retaliatory response upon the country of Iran."

    November 20, 2008 at 4:17 pm |
  233. Eric from J.C. TN

    I think Obama should proceed with caution and be careful not to say anything that would degrade Israel. Talking to them wouldn't hurt but don't let them get the upper hand.

    November 20, 2008 at 4:17 pm |
  234. Ted Keller

    Applying the mutual-deterrence logic which worked so well with the U.S.S.R., Obama should assist Iran in obtaining a limited number of nuclear weapons, along with long-range missiles to deliver them.

    November 20, 2008 at 4:17 pm |
  235. CD

    After defeating Iran's greatest enemy (Iraq) for them, and bankrupting ourselves in the process, I don't think we can possibly negotiate from a position of strength with them. Maybe Obama can get Europe to step up to bat for a change since he's so well liked over there.

    November 20, 2008 at 4:17 pm |
  236. Farhat Khan

    I believe Obama should reach out and show he want
    change. Sometime tension can be diffused by reaching out.

    November 20, 2008 at 4:17 pm |
  237. Tony

    Jack, I believe President-Elect Obama should deal with the hypothetical threat of nuclear bombs that Iran presumably might build in the same manner as the Western Powers have dealt with the atomic arsenal Israel reportedly has built over a number of decades. In my opinion, it is highly hypocritical to go after Iran and not Israel.

    November 20, 2008 at 4:17 pm |
  238. Wendell

    Hi Jack,

    Obama should deal with them the same way he's planned all along. Let's for a moment put aside all the erroneous interpretations about meeting without pre-conditions. How do you deal with a neighborhood bully? Not by insisting that he stop tormenting the kids before you'll play with him. You sit across the proverbial table, stare him in the face, and explain the significance of your shoe size as it relates to colon health. Nuf said...

    November 20, 2008 at 4:18 pm |
  239. dan in Tucson

    With a big sign on his back that says. 'Nice knowin ya'

    November 20, 2008 at 4:18 pm |
  240. Jan - Lancaster, PA

    I don't think the public really has enough information to make a educated comment, other than to say that I would hope diplomatic channels would be utilized with continuing input from the surrounding countries that have a stake in what ever we would do there.

    November 20, 2008 at 4:18 pm |
  241. Wasim Khan

    Simple. Respect Iran's integrity and come to the table without any preconditions or a pro-Israel perspective.

    When the sole superpower threathens a non-nuclear member state, a signatory of the NPT, with reserving the use their own nuclear bomb; you will never resolve this issue amicably.

    November 20, 2008 at 4:19 pm |
  242. mike

    Diplomacy is the only way. We don't have much of a positive image these days especially in the arab world. Treating Iran with some respect but also requiring them to obey the UN "rules" would make sense.
    Mike in Saranac Lake, NY

    November 20, 2008 at 4:19 pm |
  243. Rock

    Obama should give an inspiring speech to the Iranians. They will become huge Obama fans and cheer. It's worked pretty well so far.

    November 20, 2008 at 4:19 pm |
  244. Amy

    U.S needs to propose an attractive incentive plan to Iranian govt. in order to stop their nuclear program. Currently, U.S is holding millions of dollars of Iran's assests from 30 years ago that releasing them would benefit Iran's economy and would encourage them to cooperate with U.S.

    November 20, 2008 at 4:19 pm |
  245. Esther M. Akron Ohio

    walk softly and care a big stick deal with them that way. another wise man dealt like that with our enemies before. they should be aware we done being afraid and have a man in the white house coming to make them behave - chicago style

    November 20, 2008 at 4:20 pm |
  246. Dottor Giorgio da Sasso Marconi

    Obama needs to ensure, through diplomatic talks, that the U:S: will be as fair and generous to,Iran as it has been to a few friends that the U.S, has had in the world. Obama needs to explain that the U:S. will act more maturely and with civility towards others, and not be the bad cowboy that Bush was and still is!

    November 20, 2008 at 4:20 pm |
  247. Mike from erie pa

    Jack I fear it may be too late.President elect Obama has a very tough job ahead with the Iranians.They have shown time and time again thet will not stop there nuclear program.Diplomacy first but dont be afraid to pull the trigger,after all they are the ones who threatened to knock Israel off the map.

    November 20, 2008 at 4:20 pm |
  248. Jackie, California

    Obama should deal with Iran under his own accord and totally disregard the Bush administration approach. First of all, how can the Obama administration demand Iran to cease all of their uranium technology while allowing Israel to go full bore on their uranium bomb making materials?

    November 20, 2008 at 4:21 pm |
  249. Nick

    Hello Jack,
    President elect Obama should have numerous discussions with Iran until he decides to use any kind of force. Try and find a way that the two countries can work together rather than working against each other. After all Obama could be a welcomed change for Iran. Stress energy, but not weapons and stop trying to flex our military muscles in front of them and sit down and talk. They could be a very good ally as they have an abundance of natural resources. That is if they cooperate with us.

    November 20, 2008 at 4:21 pm |
  250. Randy in New York

    Diplomacy first, sanctions second and war third. Bush got it backwards.

    November 20, 2008 at 4:22 pm |
  251. jeff r

    talks talks talks. understanding our adversaries does not mean capitulation. kennedy understood that, so did reagan. bush, not so much and look where we are. this is a no-brainer

    November 20, 2008 at 4:22 pm |
  252. Cat

    I think he should deal with them with the strength of Peace....It is a very powerful force when used correctly...Lets face it the Iranian people should not be concidered our enemies. and we should not be concidered their enemy. It is our leaders who have a serious trust factor that is hurting all our people...I truly do not believe that Iran wants to go to war with us or Israel. But they will retialte if attacked or threaten. Just like us....So let the talks begin. Let us become BFF
    under this new administration.

    November 20, 2008 at 4:22 pm |
  253. Allen in Hartwell, GA

    Jack, unless Iran is a threat to the USA, I'd suggest that Obama use the UN as much as possible. This is one of the situations that the UN was created to resolve, isn't it?

    I'm sure that Obama and his close advisors have ideas, and I voted for Obama to be the president, so I'll leave it to him.

    November 20, 2008 at 4:23 pm |
  254. cherif

    After the 8 years of a lame duck president,Barack Obama should send a clear message to the iranian stop your nuclear ambition,or face the nations of the free world.After all they got US blood in their hand

    November 20, 2008 at 4:23 pm |
  255. Gan Ann

    What happens when you add oil to fire and what happens when you add water to fire? Well, you know the answer. Hating a person who you don't like will result in more hate and anger. and anger makes you blind and irrational. What did Jesus do? Love a person who hates you. That results in more love. Because of that simple reason you have a new world's biggest religion.

    You can work on common intererts of each other, or you can also work on conflicts between each other. What gives you more peace? Remember a group of tiny ants can kill a snake. We are at our own will to take a decision. Keep increasing neibouring enemies or make friends with them. Let's be true followers of Jesus.

    November 20, 2008 at 4:24 pm |
  256. Glenn Doty

    Hit them where (and how) it hurts. Iran's economy (among others) is completely dependent on oil revenue. If the U.S. were to offer to sell oil from the SPR for 25.00/bbl until Iran allowed the IAEA to control all of its refining equipment and all of its uranium reserves – doing the exact bidding of the government of Iran in regards to the building and operating nuclear power plants and the disposal of nuclear waste.

    Basically, you just make sure that the Iranian government hire the IAEA to do exactly what it says it intended to do all along... and if they don't, we crush their economy while stimulating ours.

    November 20, 2008 at 4:24 pm |
  257. Ruth of New Jersey

    The message Obama is sending by hiring so many former Clinton's people is that he has found something that works. These people were doing their thing in the Clinton days when this country was on top of its game. Unemployment was the lowest. More new small businesses were booming, the economy was in a all-time high. Hey who wouldn't choose what has been guaranteed to work? That's a positive move if you ask me.

    November 20, 2008 at 4:25 pm |
  258. Paul Fletcher

    Jack, there are many nations that have the bomb. Pakistan, India, Russia, China,U.S.,so what difference does it make to have one more. We do have our eyes on all of them with spy sattelites. Iworry about the pirates getting these shipments from the mideast. One ship with arms. What's worse, pirates, or Iran trying to get nuke power plants, supposedly. In the future, eveyone will have everything, the way its going.

    November 20, 2008 at 4:25 pm |
  259. Anna

    We need to talk to all nations in the world. If we do not talk how can we convince people to get along and create world peace. if we do not talk to people.

    November 20, 2008 at 4:25 pm |
  260. Kurt

    Barack Obama should send out lower level envoys to meet with Larijani, but wait until June to see how the Iranian presidential elections turn out before sending a secretary of state or similar official. While the President of Iran doesn't have control over their nuclear program or foreign policy, it would set a fresh tone and foundation for rapprochement between our two nations as a whole. We need to be forceful, yet cognizant that we have a lot of ground to make up for ourselves since the days of Mosaddeq.

    Tucson, Arizona

    November 20, 2008 at 4:25 pm |
  261. Jake, Oregon

    Hey there Mr. Pippin...remembering amateur pilots .....
    "Mission Accomplished"

    November 20, 2008 at 4:26 pm |
  262. Loretta

    Barack Obama and Joe Biden will present Iran with a clear choice. If Iran abandons its nuclear program and support for terrorism, they would be offered incentives like membership in the World Trade Organization. However, if Iran continues its troubling behavior, then Obama and Biden will step up our economic pressure and political isolation. This "dynamic duo" will renew American diplomacy to meet the challenges of the 21st century and will rebuild our alliances. They will be willing to meet with all nations, both friend and foe, to advance American interests.

    November 20, 2008 at 4:26 pm |
  263. Willa Roberts


    I think that you will find that once the Bush administration is out of Office negotiating with Iran will be less complicated and even less volatile. Diplomacy will finally return to Washington lead by someone that has the ability to command respect and cooperation from others without the bulling and the cultural ignorance that has been the trade mark of the Bush/Cheney Administration.

    November 20, 2008 at 4:26 pm |
  264. Diane in PC Florida

    Go to the Ayatollahs that really control the Iran, look them in the eye, and ask them: In this circumstance, what would Mohammed do (WWMD)? Then proceed based a realistic assessment of their responses. Iran is a theocracy, not unlike what the fundamentalist christians would have this country become – there's not much room for acquiescence or compromise because they are trapped in an intractable ideology – but you have to work hard to find whatever smattering there may be. I believe that an administration under President Obama will be able to find it.

    November 20, 2008 at 4:26 pm |


    Although dealing with Iran might be contrary to the status quo, perhaps it is time to extend that olive branch with the hope of creating a peaceful atmosphere for negotiations. Afterall, didn't the Iranian president offer a congratulations to PE OBAMA after winning the election. Maybe, rather than making threats that will lead this country down a path that it may regret, the US should consider an alternative approach to dealing with Iran. Afterall, creating some stability in the middle east is exactly what the world needs.

    Mark Arroyo

    November 20, 2008 at 4:26 pm |
  266. claude Heater San Francisco, Ca

    The first thing that Obama needs to resolve is Iran's role in Baghdad after US troops leave! It is based on President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's response, as to whether we leave 'contingency' troops in Iraq or a place like Kuwait. I believe that Obama needs to secure a possible UN role to discourage an alliance between Iran and Iraq at Israel's expense. These are the critical issues in reducing and/or eliminating our military and economic presence as soon as possible in Iraq. Discussions about future atom bombs and who (Israel) they might be pointed at can wait.

    November 20, 2008 at 4:27 pm |
  267. john ...... marlton nj

    Obama needs to step forward now and declare that he will demand Israel surrender its nuclear weapons and upon verification by third parties, he will demand and enforce a prohibition on development of possession of nuclear weapons by Iran.
    Hopefully, his gatekeeper, Chief of Staff Emanuel’s strong ties to Israel will not impede Obama. If he does, Obama will need to demand the immediate resignation of Emanuel in the best interest of the United States.

    November 20, 2008 at 4:27 pm |
  268. Gan Ann

    What did we learn from the past? There sure are limits to military might and Money Power. So, what should we do next?

    November 20, 2008 at 4:28 pm |
  269. andy

    obama should start talks with iran as soon as possible. after 8 years of lies and fabrciation from the bush administration I would not beleive a word from this administration. When I see a mushroom cloud over the middle east then maybe I'll beleive thios administration.

    November 20, 2008 at 4:28 pm |
  270. Scott from NYC

    Its been reported that Iran no longer wants to have talks without preconditions. Its been reported they believe that a leader that is willing to talk without preconditions is more dangerous than one that has conditions; that give an indication of exactly what he/she wants to accomplish. I say he should handle them the only way he knows how – the OBAMA WAY.

    November 20, 2008 at 4:28 pm |
  271. Jesse Davis

    Obama should meet with the leaders as mention during his campaign. He should look them in their eyes and say. "We have many big... nuclear bombs you have none" If you don't stop at once we will, and you can fill in the blanks, any questions?

    November 20, 2008 at 4:28 pm |
  272. Dave in Houston, TX

    President Obama ought to make the world well aware that Iran has one-sixth of all of the world's natural gas reserves, but they will have to import every last bit of uranium needed for nuclear energy. If they had a sincere need for electricity, they are better off with the Pickens Plan than with nukes.

    Also, most of the area of Iran is in the best zones for solar power in the world. Iran would be much better off pursuing solar energy.

    Once these facts are well disseminated to the court of world opinion, the Obama Administration can negotiate with the Iranians from a position of superior strength.

    November 20, 2008 at 4:29 pm |
  273. Chris

    Obviously, we DO need to confront them diplomatically. We need to hear what their intentions are and they certainly need to hear ours. They should NOT be allowed to develop nukes; but if they want to have nuclear power plants, they shouldn't be allowed to have no more material than is needed to operate one.

    Chris from NC

    November 20, 2008 at 4:29 pm |
  274. Dan- Salt Lake City

    I voted for Obama with the hope of developing a working relationship with Iran. It is absurd to me that we have a lovey dovey relationship with Saudi Arabia and others who have far greater human rights violations than Iran. Iran is the longest running democracy in the middle east. It is a vibrant capitolist society that, let's be honest for a change, reflects OUR way of life more than ANY other country in that region. Stop making Iran the villan and lets start calling Saudi Arabia and others out on thier human rights record.

    November 20, 2008 at 4:30 pm |
  275. WI Cheesehead

    Cross the 9 billion dollar a year line-item for Israel on the USA annual budget that no one ever talks about and then tell the Ayatollahs to knock it off and stick to their religious leadership since they have no place in world politics.

    November 20, 2008 at 4:31 pm |
  276. Kina, NYC

    First of all, Jack, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the like don't always tell the truth, that's a fact. President Bush acted with paranoia on these kind of reports, and look where that landed us, Iraq (Weapons of Mass Destruction that weren't). President-elect Obama has to speak to Ahmadinejad, without being paranoid, and explain to him why the many leaders of the world feel unnerved by prospect of producing any WMDs. By the way, aren't there other countries, apart from Iran, that have WMDs already? Why isn't anyone pressuring those other countries to destroy their WMDs? Why is it made to be believed that only Iran and North Korea have the potential to make WMDs? And which nations supply Iran with ingredients to make WMDs? Why ain't anyone bothering them?


    November 20, 2008 at 4:32 pm |
  277. Mike M, Indiana

    1. Propose a series of meetings with the purpose of normalization of the relationship with Iran.
    2. Have the airforce drop leaflets on Tehran.
    3. The leaflets should contain the message that only by having the USA and Iran working together is there hope for lasting peace in the middle east.

    November 20, 2008 at 4:33 pm |
  278. Dina - Philadelphia, PA


    Barack Obama needs to build diplomatic relationships throughout the Middle East. We cannot control other countries. We all need to be able to work together in a peaceful way. I'm sure that it can happen. I truly don't believe that any of these leaders want war in their countries. We all have to live on this planet together, so we have to learn to respect each other's views, even if they differ from our own. Lord knows the US has no room to judge other countries, especially, while we don't have our own act together. We were not born in this world to all be alike, so respect other leaders and their people and treat them the way we would want to be treated.

    November 20, 2008 at 4:33 pm |
  279. Rashad Jafer

    With justice and fairness!! Eight years of "axis of evil" branding, has only hardened the resolve of the Iranian people. The Bush policies have alienated us from most of the World. Obama has to change the paradigm-talk with the foes, be respectful and LISTEN to people. We have spun a cocoon around ourselves. LET US GET OUT OF IT.

    Houston, Texas

    November 20, 2008 at 4:34 pm |
  280. stefan

    As an Iranian-American and a staunch Obama supporter, I hope President Obama will listen before he reacts, and thus keep our enemy (Iran) closer than our friends!

    This country's myopic foreign policy has always come back to hurt us: Iran should have been dealt with decisively long ago, before it became so powerful and influential in the region. Now, we must chart a different course to entice the Iranian government to abandon its radical ways and its nuclear ambitions. I believe President Obama has the right ideas and the American people gave him the mandate to act accordingly, much to the chagrin of the Republican fear mongers of the past 8 years.

    November 20, 2008 at 4:35 pm |
  281. lewis

    I think President elect Obama should 1st stop our country from buying oil from them, and any other country that is our alias. I think he should also start with freezing accounts. After the U.S. and alias start messing with there money then maybe they will listen.

    November 20, 2008 at 4:36 pm |
  282. Lyons-Philadelphia

    Just take them all out....Tired of this.

    November 20, 2008 at 4:39 pm |
  283. Scott - Madison, WI

    With the wisdom, grace, thoughtful insight, strength of conviction and honor that he's been displaying over the last two years on the campaign trail. What a difference from the the last eight years that seems like light years of suffering under the imperialistic rule of Bush/Cheney & Co. Inc.

    November 20, 2008 at 4:41 pm |
  284. John Michaels

    Why don't we start to investigate Israel for weapons of mass destruction first. We know they have more 300 Nuclear warheads. Why don't they disarm first? If we are talking about peace and justice then law and rules should be the same. Israel does not even let IAEA to enter Israeli soil! What a shame that we have double standards.

    November 20, 2008 at 4:43 pm |
  285. Sherri - Seattle

    Diplomacy, diplomacy, diplomacy. Listen carefully, make no rash decisions and make this world safer for Americans and Iranians, as well as everyone else in the region. There is so much to gain by finding common ground and mutual understanding. The Iranian people are educated, resourceful and ready for change, much as the American people are. It is a golden opportunity.

    November 20, 2008 at 4:44 pm |
  286. Roy - Chicago IL

    Tehran ignores U.N. mandates because its friends on the Security Council do not pressure them. I think Obama should give them a chance to meet, reiterate what we and the U.N. have asked for, and give them a dignified way to back down. This worked for Kennedy with Russia, and worked (so far) in North Korea. If Iran ignores all that, they cannot say we never tried.

    November 20, 2008 at 4:45 pm |
  287. circy in New Mexico

    Talk to Iran, dammit! This nonsense of not talking to a so-called enemy is totally stupid. That's what small children do to get their way.

    November 20, 2008 at 4:46 pm |
  288. Sue, GA

    Hi Jack,
    Why the American administrations, European countries and the International Atomic Energy Agency ignore the fact that Israel has a huge number of atomic bombs????

    Why they do not try to make Middle East nuclear bomb free and that should include Israel of course???

    November 20, 2008 at 4:47 pm |
  289. Kiki from Omaha

    The best way to deal with Iran is to play a very tough diplomacy with them with first rule: before any bilateral negotiation there must be a willingness and desire from tehran to give up on any ambition of any Nuclear weapon fabrication. Second rule: If their is that desir then they should allow close supervision by the IEA of any civil nuclear energy options. They will receive incentives, aids and coorperation from the international community.
    Otherwise they will face a very very strict economical, diplomatic and much more sanctions from the international community that will allienate or damage the people of Iran.
    I think Obama is on the right track of doing that.

    November 20, 2008 at 4:48 pm |
  290. Joan Gilbert-Croteau


    It isn't our place to tell President -Elect Obama what to do, since he has several qulified people who will do the advising. In addition, Obama is receiving information from the White House everyday that we aren't privy to, so we should stop wondering and let him take care of the decision making. After all, hes the one who wanted the job.

    Joann from Maine

    November 20, 2008 at 4:49 pm |
  291. Kelly Knudson

    I think that Obama should speak to Iran. What other option is there, war? I tell you what war causes more American dead. If this war will be as bad as I think it will be, that it will be a complete failure. Ever hear about the Shanghai Cooperation Organization? Iran will be their newest member when they get accepted and with that they will have two nuclear powers protecting them. If this happens the world would be split in two again just like the Cold War and World War II. Also I wonder if any of those nuclear powers will get impatient of conventional war and use a few WMDs. I hope that this isn’t America destiny to be a nuclear wasteland. We must think first before we shoot people. The usual “shoot people and ask questions later” policy doesn’t work ever because you can’t undo what you just did.

    Kelly Knudson
    Grand Forks, North Dakota

    November 20, 2008 at 4:49 pm |
  292. j/NJ

    How should Barack Obama deal with Iran when he takes office?

    The Tehran Govt seems not to understand that pursuing a nuclear weapons program is not in its best national interest, the Obama administration needs to confirm that contingency, a rather daunting task that will require patience along with trial and error policies, diplomatic incentives intended to engage rather than threaten Iran's national security concerns among other things...

    November 20, 2008 at 4:52 pm |
  293. Jeff Crocket

    How? Maybe you should say will he? He has no idea how to handle Iran or anything else for that matter!! He is stuffing his Cabinet with the same old Washington scoundrels because they know something??

    The Dems could have got the same crew with Hillary, but wanted change!! Now they get no change!!

    November 20, 2008 at 4:52 pm |
  294. Steve Ford

    Openly, he needs to use wise and measured diplomacy. Covertly, he needs to gather as much intel as possible and take extra careful but decisive measures to protect the interests of the Unites States and its allies.

    November 20, 2008 at 4:53 pm |
  295. Mike, Cleveland, Ohio

    I think the best dimplomatic approach to the problems with Iran is through Russia. The Russians don't want the missle sheild in their back yard. We need the Russians to cooperate with us for additional U.N. sanctions in order to put the pressure on Iran. So I think the best solution would be to halt the missle sheild or move it; in exchange Russia backs more U.N. sanctions.

    November 20, 2008 at 4:53 pm |
  296. Kireeti Ghanta

    Talk to Iran, what can it hurt? Iran is also wanting to speak to us and the Iranian President eager to meet President-elect Obama. Go for it, it would seriously show a sign of strong Diplomacy!

    November 20, 2008 at 4:55 pm |
  297. beevee, MIcigan

    Just ignore the barkings of the dog and throw a bait.

    November 20, 2008 at 4:56 pm |
  298. Gigi in Alabama

    Sorry Jack, but I would never presume to know how Pres. elect Obama should treat Iran. He's a very smart and savvy man, so he can handle it a lot better than most of us. (especially George Bush)

    November 20, 2008 at 4:56 pm |
  299. Steve from NM

    The old carrot and stick would probably work.

    November 20, 2008 at 4:56 pm |
  300. Lynn, Columbia, Mo..

    He should tell them–"All we are saying, is give peace a chance".

    November 20, 2008 at 4:57 pm |
  301. JC

    By not appointing HRC to State. That's a sure way to start another arms race in the Mideast.

    November 20, 2008 at 4:58 pm |
  302. Phil P. in NJ

    Jack, President-Elect Obama should be willing to listen to what the Iranians have to say. But Make no mistake about this, Obama has already warned the world community that America will take the appropriate action to protect itself and our allies. He should try a diplomatic approach first. If that fails then he should try sactions. If the sanctions fail and Iran poses a threat to the region, then he should give them one final written and verbal warning before making them an oil slick.

    November 20, 2008 at 4:58 pm |
  303. Sarah

    He should talk with them like they are fellow human beings. Obviously the strategies our current administration has been using–namely vascilating between sanctions and pretending like they don't exist–have not been working or we wouldn't even be having to ask this question.

    November 20, 2008 at 4:58 pm |
  304. Darrell Wayne

    I think McCain had it right on this one!

    November 20, 2008 at 4:58 pm |