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Talking to Iran

I am puzzled as to why the US is so quick to reject even considering the letter from President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran and why there are not moves to initiate a dialogue with Iran. I am no supporter of Mad Mahmoud but doesn’t refusing to even dialogue with him give MM the initiative. We tried to talk to the Americans but…..

I agree with Kevin Drum:

Iran has elected a wingnut president, they’ve made progress on nuclear enrichment, gained considerable influence in Iraq, and increased their global economic leverage as oil supplies have gotten tighter. So why blow another chance? If the talks fail, then they fail. But what possible reason can there be to refuse to even discuss things with Iran — unless you’re trying to leave no alternative to war?

8 comments to Talking to Iran

  • civitas

    Is there dialogue to be had with people who advocate wiping a democracy off the map? This letter is merely a stalling tactic to allow Iran more time to do what the international community has already said is non-negotiable. And that is that Iran may not develop nuclear weapons. What’s to discuss? The US and international position on Iran is clear. Dialogue isn’t going to change that position. Iran must make a decision to comply or not to comply with international demands.

  • hc

    civitas, This stance seems to force a military solution which neither side wants. MM’s remarks on Israel must be taken seriously but there may be an intermediate position to be negotiated – Iran purchasing enriched uranium from another country – a possibility so far rejected by the Iranians – a possibility.

    If there was agreement there would be no need for dialogue.

  • observa

    harry,
    You need to understand completely where these people are coming from
    http://www.adnki.com/index_2Level.php?cat=Religion&loid=8.0.231976823&par=0
    Iran will desist from enriching uranium or their facilities will be bombed. We are not going to tolerate this Axis of Evil going nuclear. It’s better to face them conventionally right now. No ifs buts or maybes mad mullahs.

  • Colman

    Well, his remarks on Israel should also be put in context. Have you had a look what Juan Cole has to say about the “quotes” that are being bandied around the place?

    As for bombing Iran, what makes observa think that would stop a thirty year old programme?

    The key problem is that both the US and Iran have elected wingnuts: the solution here is for the two of them to sit down and negotiate a solution – security guarantees for Iran, assurance on nuclear programme for the US.

  • observa

    We are not going to negotiate anything with Iran colman. Iran wants to be the spiritual leader of militant Islam and as such is our sworn enemy. http://www.news.com.au/story/0,10117,19088479-401,00.html
    The Bush administration understands that implicitly. We have to understand that too.

  • civitas

    “civitas, This stance seems to force a military solution which neither side wants.”

    Not if Iran backs down it doesn’t. Are you eliminating the possibility that Iran will comply with international will? It can choose to do so at any time.

    “MM’s remarks on Israel must be taken seriously”

    very, as seriously as they would be taken had they threatened to wipe France off the map, or Italy.

    “but there may be an intermediate position to be negotiated – Iran purchasing enriched uranium from another country – a possibility so far rejected by the Iranians – a possibility.”

    not if the Iranians have rejected it. But there’s nothing to be offered to them if they do suddenly decide to do that. They still may not develop nuclear weapons.

    “If there was agreement there would be no need for dialogue.”

    There have been several years of dialogue with Iran. The EU3 took the lead on it. Nothing has changed since then. There is no further need for dialogue beyond the years that have already been invested in it. The position is clear, Iran may not develop and have nuclear weapons. No amount of dialogue is going to change that.

    “As for bombing Iran, what makes observa think that would stop a thirty year old programme?”

    We could do significant damage bombing Iraq. And all we’d have to do would be enough to get the Iranian people to rid themselves of the people who got them bombed in the first place. If they try to restart, we’d re-bomb. If they want to push this into a conflict that they cannot win militarily, that’s their choice.

  • civitas

    Harry, we need to be clear here, with Iran and each other. Iran isn’t going to be allowed to develop just a few nuclear weapons rather than whatever number they now have in mind, in exchange for their agreement to some other term. Negotiations will not lead to this, do you agree?

    There are no other terms and no other actions other than ceasing the development of nuclear weapons that will keep Iran from being confronted by the US and whoever else does not want Iran to have nuclear weapons. If that’s no one else, I’m ok with that. Think how many didn’t stand up to confront Hitler. We could have talked and talked to him too. It wouldn’t have done any good. Once you know the other side is mad, there’s little point in continuing activities that have borne not a single piece of fruit. Even the EU3 eventually reached that conclusion.

  • Mark Cross

    Iran has threatened Israel with destruction.

    Iran has threatened to attack Israel if any military action is taken to stop them acquiring atomic weapons.

    The letter ends with a phrase that translates to peace only to those under the rule of Islam. That is a declaration of war.

    What part of “these are inasane bastards” don’t you understand?