The United States does not have the luxury of engaging only
pleasant, democratic and tolerant governments.
The great challenge of effective diplomacy is to deal with,
and get results from, regimes that most Americans would
prefer did not exist.
— Ted Galen Carpenter
Following the Bush administration’s U-turn, it took the E-3 and the U.S. most of the spring and summer of 2006 to devise a new strategy towards Iran’s nuclear activities. The European Union’s foreign policy chief, Xavier Solana, former Secretary General of NATO and himself a nuclear physicist flew to Teheran with an “incentives and penalties” package designed to coax and pressure the Iranians into a fresh round of negotiations in which the Americans could be expected to take part.
On his arrival, Solana told the Iranian foreign minister that he hoped this would open the door to “a new era of collaboration” between Iran and the rest of the world. This must be based on “trust and mutual respect.” The Iranians received Solana courteously. President Ahmadi-nejad described the still closely-guarded package as “helpful,” promised to study it carefully, and said that Iran would reply with “some ideas of our own.”
Seasoned diplomat as he is, Xavier Solana emphasized to the Iranians the advantages of a “deal” with their critics. Among the “incentives” he had to offer in return for their ending enrichment of uranium were: