Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Obama, Aggressive Diplomacy & The Mad Mullahs Pursuit Of A Nuclear Arsenal

If anyone in the MSM is paying attention, will they start to press Obama now on his suicidally naive and grandiose plans for "aggressive diplomacy" with Tehran? The recent attempt at talks with Iran by the EU, Russia, China and the U.S. to end Iran's march towards a nuclear arsenal were wholly useless did nothing more than throw into stark relief Iran's motivations and strategy. When the Iranian proposals for endless diplomacy but refusing to address its nuclear enrichment make even the Russian envoy life, it is clear that no amount of diplomacy standing alone is going to stop Iran. It really does seem like 1938 with Iran as Germany and Obama poised to become the stand in for Britain's Neville Chamberlain and France's Édouard Daladier.

The NYT reports on the recent meeting between the EU-3, Russia, China and the U.S. with Iran. Several things are apparent. One, nothing will stop the Iranian march towards a nuclear arsenal and all the danger that holds for the world. Two, the hardliners are in complete control of the reigns of power in Iran and it is showing in the margins of their increasingly hardline and amateurish diplomacy. Three, Iran wants nothing more than for the West to engage in endless "aggressive diplomacy." Indeed, Obama must seem a gift from Allah to the mad mullahs. This from the NYT:

. . . For the six powers — the United States, Russia, China, France, Britain and Germany — [Iran's counterproposal, containing misspellings and incorrect grammar] was just as disappointing as its style. Sergei Kisliak, the Russian deputy foreign minister, could not suppress a laugh when he read it, according to one participant.

The talks on Saturday included the participation of a senior American official for the first time. The six powers were hoping that Iran would accept a compromise formula to pave the way to formal negotiations. For six weeks, Iran would not add “any new nuclear activity,” refraining from the new installation of centrifuges that enrich uranium, and the United States and other powers would not seek new United Nations sanctions.

But both in their paper, and throughout the talks, the Iranians did not discuss the formula, called a “freeze for freeze.” As a result, they left the impression that they wanted to lure the parties into an open-ended, cost-free, high-level negotiating process.

“The paper calls for a huge exercise in talking,” said one senior European official. “If you were to try to implement it, it would take a minimum of several years.”

Officials spoke on condition of anonymity under normal diplomatic rules.

. . . The Iranian document, which has not been made public, offered a snapshot of Iran’s negotiating style. It put the burden on the other parties. Its imprecise language and misspellings were in sharp contrast to the rigorous approach by Iranian negotiators, many of them career diplomats, who were in charge in 2003 when France, Britain and Germany began the initiative of incentives in exchange for suspension of major nuclear activities. Those diplomats have since been replaced.

The paper called for at least three more meetings with Javier Solana, the European Union foreign policy chief, who represents the six powers. Those would be followed by at least four meetings at the foreign ministers’ level, which would start with the halting of any sanctions against Iran, “both inside and outside” the United Nations Security Council.

The Iranian document also seemed to suggest that there could be no discussion of the main issue of contention: some sort of limit on Iran’s production of enriched uranium, which can be used to make electricity or to fuel bombs. “The parties will abstain from referring to or discussing divergent issues that can potentially hinder the progress of negotiations,” the paper said.

The six powers want to use their proposed freeze-for-freeze period as a prelude to formal negotiations on a package of economic, political, technological and security rewards. But Iran has to stop enriching uranium for the formal talks to begin.

In its paper, Iran focused only on negotiating a “comprehensive agreement” for the rewards. The paper also said current international sanctions against Iran would be discontinued. The Iranian nuclear issue will no longer be dealt with by the Security Council or the 35-country governing board of the International Atomic Energy Agency. Only the atomic energy agency itself can deal with the subject, the paper said.

Read the entire article.

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