The administration announced today that it would open itself up to one-on-one talks with Iran.
The United States said Wednesday it would join in face-to-face talks with Iran over its disputed nuclear program if Tehran first agreed to put challenged atomic activities on hold, a shift in tactics meant to offer the Iranians a last chance to avoid punishing sanctions.
Iran dismissed the offer as "a propaganda move."
Before leaving for meetings in Europe on Iran, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said that while the U.S. was willing to join talks between European nations and Iran, it was also helping to prepare a package of sanctions that Tehran could face should it decline the new offer.
"We're prepared to go either way," she said
At the White House, President Bush said, "I believe that it's important that we solve this issue diplomatically, and my decision today says that the United States is going to take a leadership position in solving this issue."
The overture to join stalled European talks came after mounting pressure on the U.S. from European allies.
The administration is convinced Russia and China would support sanctions or other harsh measures if new talks fail to persuade Iran to abandon nuclear efforts that the West fears could lead to a bomb, said a senior administration official. The official briefed reporters on condition of anonymity because the secretary was continuing talks with other countries.
This is a mistake, and it'll be a repeated one if this does go down. We're making the same mistakes we made with North Korea. These one-on-one talks can only amount to capitulation by the diplomats while Iran continues to work its program. The problem that I have--more than anything else--is that Iran isn't North Korea. As the story reminds readers:
She said the United States was not offering full diplomatic relations with Iran and would not swear off ever using military action to stop what the U.S. contends is a rogue program to build a nuclear weapon.
"This is not a grand bargain," Rice said. "What we're talking about here is an effort to enhance the chances for a successful negotiated solution to the Iranian nuclear problem."
The administration has given arms-length support to European efforts to bargain with Iran, but also has been the prime mover for sanctions or other tough United Nations action. Russia and China, Iran's commercial allies on the council, have so far blocked that path.
What do you think these three nations are trading? Doilies? Russia and Iran are negotiating the building of two new nuclear reactors, and they have an agreement for surface-to-air missiles that will be protecting their nuclear sites. They are currently in talks with both nations in an attempt to acquire a couple ICBMs, but they do have missiles right now that can reach Israel, and possibly the extreme edge of Western Europe. An upgrade to a longer range missile, or the acquisition of an ICBM would make Iran a global threat overnight.
What I'm afraid of is that the diplomats haven't learned their lesson from North Korea. Not only could we not verify that North Korea wasn't working on it's nuke program, but we were willing to give them the fuel to power those reactors before we verified their compliance. That's what I'm afraid is going to happen this time around, as well, and that these talks are completely worthless. Iran's reaction to the proposal alone should show anyone what they need to know about their program.
They're continuing with it. They feel they have a right to create nuclear weapons. And anyone who doesn't like it can go to Hell. (Note that Iran, by the time it's too late, will be able to ensure the one-way trip themselves.)
Russia and China serve as the two greatest obstacles in this mess. With their absolute refusal to go for sanctions right now with Iran's refusal to abide by the IAEA mandates they have shown their clear conflict of interest. They're all trade partners. We get that, but their trade isn't in a commodity or any other public necessity. It's in weapons and technology, and that technological help is assisting them on their path to possessing the worst weapon created, yet.
(Don't misunderstand me. I'm not anti-nukes; I'm pro-nuclear responsibility, and Iran doesn't even come close when they're threatening to use them against Israel to "wipe them off the map." That's not responsible. It's reckless and dangerous, and hardly worth those that will die. When we dropped the first ones, it was to save millions of Marines whow would have had to storm the Japanese beaches. This time, from Iran, it would be genocide; thus completing the job Adolf Hitler started.)
And that is why we are screeaming that this IS 1938 all over again. We seem to be making several mistakes with this issue. Not only are we acting like the Allies did when Hitler rose to power, but we're also getting ready to let the fox guard the henhouse in Iran. And Iran, of course, will be demanding security guarantees; the guarantees that they won't be attacked by the United States. (For our sake, let's hope the diplomats DON'T say "Oh, OK. We won't go after you.") As the president has stated on numerous occasions, the military option is never off the table.
Good, let's hope that's true, and let's hope that he's willing--if necessary--to exercise that option before Iran goes full nuclear. But these talks are a mistake. The Iranians will play the same games that North Korea did in one-on-one talks with the United States, and just like the way Saddam Hussein played the UN like a "Stradivarius."