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Obama’s Secret Letter To Tehran

Is Obama trying once again to bring Iran back to the discussion table? CBS reports that Obama sent Iran a secret letter proposing new talks and admonishing Tehran over its threats to close the Straits of Hormuz.

“In the letter, Obama called for direct talks with Iran,” the semiofficial Fars news agency quoted [Ali] Motahari [an Iranian lawmaker] as saying Wednesday. “The letter also said that closing the Strait of Hormuz is (Washington’s) red line.” […]

Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast confirmed that Tehran received the letter and was considering a possible response.

President Obama has often made clear that “all options are on the table” when it comes to Iran’s nuclear push. Some have even suggested he could have tried harder to negotiate. He appears to now be giving it one last try, if reports on the secret letter to Tehran are confirmed.

Iran also recently suggested that nuclear talks will resume soon.

Talks make sense, though not indefinitely extended ones. The surprising show of European and Arab unity with the US may (or may not) be changing hearts and minds in Tehran. Testing Iran’s intentions is worth doing; getting bogged down in endless talks about talks while Tehran steams ahead with its nuclear program and spews propaganda and fake peace proposals is not.

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  • Corlyss

    Once again, the silly fly tiptoes down the web strand.

  • Phineas

    “Testing Iran’s intentions is worth doing; getting bogged down in endless talks about talks while Tehran steams ahead with its nuclear program and spews propaganda and fake peace proposals is not.”

    Bah. The Iranians have been playing us and the rest of the West like violins with “negotiations” for years. The mullahs have no intention of negotiating their nuclear program in good faith; for them, it’s just a stalling tactic until they can finally have a bomb and a delivery system ready. This isn’t a government of rational actors, such as the old USSR was. Instead, it’s a group of millenarian fanatics seeking to bring about the Shiite “end times.” Even if Tehran agrees to negotiate, it will lead to nothing — except them laughing at us when we’re not in the room.

  • Tom Holsinger

    _Foreign Affairs_ has four differing on-line columns running at the moment on the subject of America attacking Iran over the latter’s nuclear weapons policy. Those are:

    Bomb ’em –

    wait a bit longer –

    no, never –

    be thorough and invade –

    I favored the latter in my _Case For Invading Iran_ five years ago –

    on the grounds that letting Iran possess nukes will create such rampant nuclear proliferation that we’d lose our freedom at home due to the necessary domestic security measures required to protect against terrorist and nutball regime nukes.

    This general policy of protecting freedom at home by precluding deadly foreign threats to America has been the hallmark of American foreign policy since the first Adams administration. See Michael Lind’s _American Way of Strategy_.

  • Tom Holsinger

    Oops, I should be more precise about the latter. America’s general national security objective was to protect freedom at home from the domestic effects of the societal militarization costs of maintaining a large standing army to protect against imminent foreign peril. Our foreign policy was aimed at minimizing such threats and, if necessary, we attacked abroad to elimimate the threats without having to maintain such a mobilization. This was definitely a major concern of President Eisenhower and a large element of the GOP establishment after World War Two.

    Michael Lind is very effective at tracing this policy through the centuries. He goes off the rails after World War Two, though, into such partisan silliness that he’d make a great Secretary of State for President Ron Paul.

  • Cunctator

    Direct talks are probably a good proposal to make, prtovided that the holding of the talks is not the goal itself. For, if that were the case, Obama will lose sight of what the stakes of the confrontation with Iran are. In other words, he cannot (should not) put US prestige on the line to get the Iranians to agree to meet.

    Unfortunately, I do not think that the US president understands this — and that, for him, the appearance of doing something is as important as actually advancing key objectives. I hope that I am wrong.

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