Tuesday, June 06, 2006


Posted to the web on: 05 June 2006


nuclear iran-IT IS testimony to the complete lack of trust between America and Iran that there have been no bilateral talks on nuclear proliferation. The stakes are so high you would have expected clandestine negotiations, rather as the Nixon administration and Maoist China engaged in in the 1970s, but on Tehran’s nuclear ambitions Washington has left the talking to the European troika of Britain, France and Germany.

That refusal of direct engagement changed dramatically last Wednesday with the announcement by Condoleezza Rice, the Secretary of State, that America was prepared to join the Europeans at the table, provided Tehran suspended uranium enrichment.

The offer knocks the ball into the Iranian court and will test the unity of a regime that embraces both the firebrand Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and more moderate voices fearful that the president’s nationalistic rhetoric is pushing the country into isolation.

Paradoxically, if the Iranians conclude Washington’s overture is a sign of weakness and deserves rejection, that will strengthen the Bush administration’s hand in persuading China and Russia to back, or not to veto, a security council resolution under chapter VII of the United Nations charter.

It would be naïve to think the deep mistrust between America and Iran, which dates from the hostage crisis of 1979-81, has suddenly evaporated. Rather than opening secret negotiations, Washington has decided to make a very public offer of talks and put the other side on the spot. This is a sensible tactical ploy and marks the end of that strange period when Washington subcontracted to allies the conduct of talks on a matter of vital concern.

Although it is very difficult for outsiders to read Iranian politics, it seems likely that Rice’s offer will be rejected. But at least no one will then be able to accuse the Bush administration of failing to explore the most obvious diplomatic channel — that of direct talks. London, June 2.
source:The Daily Telegraph
posted by ali gahnnadi-irannuk


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