Joe Biden in Munich

“The Iranian people are a great people. The Persian civilisation is a great civilisation,” U.S. Vice President Joe Biden conceded at the Security Conference in Munich. “But Iran has acted in ways that are not conducive to peace.” “Our administration is reviewing policy toward Iran, but this much is clear: We will be willing to talk,” he said. “We will be willing to talk to Iran, and to offer a very clear choice: continue down your current course and there will be pressure and isolation; abandon the illicit nuclear programme and your support for terrorism and there will be meaningful incentives.”

Is it illicit? The IAEA has not found evidence so far that Iran is diverting its nuclear program in order to construct a nuclear weapon. Biden might have further information from his intelligence agencies. But if he has not, he is distributing unproven allegations to the public as the Bush administration did before. And the public needs to know.

Yesterday, the Speaker of Iran’s Majlis, Ali Larijai, has made it clear in Munich that the carrot and stick policy of the West must be discarded. We don’t know whether Biden met Larijani in Munich. It is hoped anyway.

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