The democratic party’s vice presidential nominee John Edwards said if elected, John Kerry’s administration would allow the Islamic government to continue Iran’s nuclear energy program in exchange for commitment to give up the right to retain bomb-making nuclear fuel. August 30, 2004 - In a bid to end the Iran nuclear crisis, President Bush’s rival in the upcoming US presidential election would offer the Islamic government “a great bargain” allowing it to keep the Bushehr nuclear power plant in exchange for giving up the right to retain bomb-making nuclear fuel, Senator John Kerry’s running mate Senator John Edwards said Monday in a Washington Post interview on foreign policy. Edwards said the Islamic government’s rejection of the offer, would confirm suspicions that it is hiding a nuclear weapons program in violation of the non-proliferation treaty. “If we are engaging with Iranians in an effort to reach this great bargain and if in fact this is a bluff that they are trying to develop nuclear weapons capability, then we know that our European friends will stand with us,” Senator Edwards said. “At the end of the day, we have to have some serious negotiating leverage in this discussion with the Iranians,” he added. “A nuclear Iran is unacceptable for so many reasons, including the possibility that it creates a gateway and the need for other countries in the region to develop nuclear capabilities -- Saudi Arabia, Egypt, potentially others,” Edwards said. Edwards accused the Bush administration of abdicating its responsibility for the Iranian nuclear threat to the Europeans, who have retained ties with the Islamic government. Senator Edwards’ comments came two days after President Khatami said the Islamic government was prepared to offer guarantees that its nuclear program was only aimed at generating electricity. In a press conference in Tehran, Khatami said the US casualties in Iraq would turn American voters against President Bush. He blamed the Republican administration in Washington for widening the “wall of mistrust” between the two countries, and expressed regret that the Islamic government did not normalize ties with the US in 2000, when the opportunity was offered by President Clinton.