Obama and Iran

Saw Senator Kyl (R-AZ), a big McCain supporter on Late Edition with Wolf Blizer the other morning from Managua. 

Kyl parsed Obama´s recent speech to AIPAC regarding his position on talks vis a vis Iran.  The text of his speech here.

Obama states:

We will also use all elements of American power to pressure Iran. I will do everything in my power to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. That starts with aggressive, principled diplomacy without self-defeating preconditions, but with a clear-eyed understanding of our interests. We have no time to waste. We cannot unconditionally rule out an approach that could prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. We have tried limited, piecemeal talks while we outsource the sustained work to our European allies. It is time for the United States to lead.

There will be careful preparation. We will open up lines of communication, build an agenda, coordinate closely with our allies, and evaluate the potential for progress. Contrary to the claims of some, I have no interest in sitting down with our adversaries just for the sake of talking. But as President of the United States, I would be willing to lead tough and principled diplomacy with the appropriate Iranian leader at a time and place of my choosing – if, and only if – it can advance the interests of the United States.

Kyl after reiterating some of these points (and I´m paraphrasing here) stated that is essentially what President Bush´s view is and the sane one.  And Obama is right to come to it now but that isn´t what he said before.  Then he went on with the bloody shirt he´ll talk to Ahmadinejad line.

With all due respect to the Seantor, to make clear yet again, preparing for talks is not the smae as a precondition.  Bush and McCain both have preconditions to talks with Iran.  The only talks worth having–as opposed to the limited talks the Bush administration had very briefly with Iran only over Iraq–is a bury the hatchet, all issues on the table kinda thing.  The kind Bush and now McCain say will only happen once Iran certifiably stops all nuclear enrichment (even for possible civilian nuclear power allowed in the Non-Proliferation Treaty).

That is a precondition.  Obama is not talking about preconditions but simply not going in flying blind.  And for the millionth time, he would not talk to Ahmadinejad because that dude has very little if any influence in foreign policy.  And to the degree he does (not much) it is as a mouthpiece for the Revolutionary Guard.  The very group Obama could help decrease in influence by strenghtening the hand of other actors.  e.g. Ali Larijani, former nuclear negotiator now Speaker of Parliament and huge foe of Ahmadinejad, very close to the Supreme Leader.  Or Rafsanjani.  Or Iran´s Foreign Minister or UN Ambassador, all members of the Conservative anti-Ahmadinejad group.

Now I still think along with Thomas Barnett that Iran is getting the bomb.  It would be nice if Obama offered taking regime change off the table in exchange for no nuke but the Iranians already offered that deal in ´03 and were rebuffed and the Iranians do not do no well.  Again following Barnett, given that the Iranian thing looks like a done deal who´s the better choice.  I´ll take Obama because the McCain response would clearly be as he sung, Bomb Bomb Bomb Iran.  Think oil would stay at $140/barrel with a strike on Iran?  Can you say 250-300 dollar oil?

Oh and Iran is putting mad pressure on Maliki not to sign a long term bases security agreement with the US.  Which the Iraqis don´t want, the US Congress isn´t golng to get to vote on, and the regional players are not happy with either.  Sounds like a winner to me; I´m mean what could possibly go wrong with that scenario. 




Published in: on June 10, 2008 at 11:19 am  Leave a Comment  
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