Friday, June 02, 2006

More Motion Toward Iranian Appeasement

At this point I'm just not sure what anyone can do with Iran. I have great doubts that talks of any type will have any acceptable results and the delay merely give Iran more time to hide new facilities or accelerate their Uranium enrichment program. But, Hey, let's give them some more incentives to play nice.
The U.S. and five major powers agreed to a "far reaching" package of incentives to induce Iran to suspend its pursuit of nuclear technologies, and pledged coercive measures through the United Nations if Tehran doesn't comply.

The announcement by the U.N. Security Council's five permanent members, plus Germany, sought to buttress a pledge by the Bush administration to engage directly with Iran should it agree to give up uranium enrichment work. European leaders said the agreement reached yesterday provides Tehran with a clear path to reintegrating with the global community should it agree to talk.

Diplomats also said the dialogue format with Iran could be broadened down the road to include not only the U.S., but also China and Russia, which are viewed as crucial to pressuring Iran. To date, only Britain, France, Germany -- the so-called EU-3 -- have engaged Tehran over its nuclear program.

I suppose if they are trying to negotiate for settlement, they won't be using the coercion. Iran seems to be very skiddish about the prospect of a switch, even when they are being handed a golden carrot.

If Russia and China are really on board with the rest of the crowd, there may be more hope. But I'm betting that China will balk at the first opportunity. Russia has more to loose from wavering on the topic, since the west gives them much more support than Iran can offer in military sales. I expect that they'll be playing both sides of the fence for a while. Nothing new, just continuing what they've been doing for the past year.

This OpinionJournal OpEd discusses the prospect for direct talks between the US and Iran.
When Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad publicly released a long, insulting letter seeking direct talks with the U.S. last month, President Bush dismissed it as unworthy of reply. But yesterday Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice delivered the real U.S. answer: Yes.

In a surprising policy reversal, Ms. Rice offered to negotiate directly with Iran's mullahs if they first suspend all uranium enrichment and cooperate with United Nations arms inspectors. The Secretary of State seems to have convinced Mr. Bush--over the doubts of Vice President Cheney and others--that this was the only way to prevent the U.S. from being isolated as our European allies ran for cover and Russia resisted any U.N. sanctions. How this new U.S. concession will impress the mullahs to give in is now Ms. Rice's burden to demonstrate. Good luck.

I think Rice has a good point in that we have to show some level of cooperation with the EU allies. I'm just not convinced that anything will come of it. The past few years of dithering and talking between the EU and Iran has been utterly fruitless. How can there be any expectations that this will change.

As for Ahmadinejad, his constant ranting and acting like a madman makes you wonder when someone will stop treating him and his country as reasonable and treat them like the mad dog that they are acting like.

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