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No Deal With Iran

The bad news from Europe isn’t the only event casting shadows over the holiday weekend. The news from Baghdad is that the negotiations between Iran and the Group of Six ended in stalemate. Given the effectiveness of the current sanctions against Tehran and the prospect of new, tougher ones coming into effect on July 1 (when EU sanctions against Iranian oil are scheduled to take effect), there was more hope than usual that this round of talks would offer hope that the worst can be avoided.

Now those hopes have been dashed. The next meeting is scheduled in Moscow on June 18; that leaves very little time before the next round of sanctions goes into effect.

Progress in Baghdad would have helped the Obama administration. Any sign that the policy of negotiation is working would strengthen the President’s hand in the election campaign. Iranian intransigence makes it easier for critics to portray him as a credulous sucker being manipulated by the clever mullahs who play him for time as they advance their agenda.

Via Meadia is still hoping for a peaceful resolution of this dispute, but the time for negotiations is not infinite. Reports that the some samples of uranium in Iran have been enriched to a higher level than previously known raise some questions; while the evidence appears inconclusive anything that undermines the credibility of negotiations or highlights the danger of an Iranian nuclear breakout makes war that much more likely.

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  • Anthony

    WRM, tensions have been rising over Iran’s nuclear energy program (enriching uranium) for some time now. But has Iranians exhausted all credibility in eyes of China, Russia, Turkey, et al.? And does the West (U.S.) imagine other alternatives short of war in event Iran remains inconclusive vis-a-vis provisions of Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty?

  • Anthony

    Also, what have Iranians counter proposed to proposals made by group of 6 during negoitations given that its leadership is aware of July 1st add-ons?

  • Walter Sobchak

    I had thought that the Iranians were more committed to subterfuge and double talk than they were. Further they seem to have little understanding of how domestic politics in the United States could affect them.

    Obama is the best friend they have had in the White House since the 1979 revolution. Romney is a close personal friend of Bibi Netanyahu, whom Obama detests. Romney seems to have little sympathy for Iran or Muslims in general.

    The logical thing for the Iranians to do is make at least verbal concessions at the talks, which would make Obama look good. After Obama is re-elected they can go back to treaty breaking and A-bomb building. But, that will mean four more years, and likely getting past the point where Israel could destroy their nuclear weapons with its sole capabilities.

  • Kevin

    Walter Sobchak is probably right if Iran can act as a unified actor. But they have domestic political concerns too which may prohibit them from from even pretending to agree to such a compromise.

  • Cunctator

    First of all, the “bad news from Europe” cannot be coming from Baghdad as the opening lines of this article imply. When last I looked, Baghdad was in another dysfunctional region of the world.

    But, more generally, is anyone other than Barack Obama and that slack-jawed yokel, Catherine Ashton, surprised that there is no deal (and no deal possible) with Iran? What does it take for these leaders to understand what is going on? Iran wants a nuclear weapon capability, and so it will do anything it can to buy time to reach that goal. Undertaking another round of negotiations is playing Iran’s game, and is a form of appeasement in the worst sense of the word. Our strategic situation deteriorates while their’s improves the closer to nuke capability it gets.

    There is going to be a war with Iran. In my opinion, it is unavoidable. The only question is how it starts. We should seek to commence operations in a manner that is most beneficial to the achievemnt of our war aims, or put Iran into the position of unwittingly helping us achieve our aims. Does Obama understand this? — I doubt this. He is entirely focused on his re-election, and just wants to avoid Israel launching an attack and shaming him into supporting that country. (His reluctance to do so is both political and methinks also very personal in that, like the Reverend Wright and trendy leftists, Israel is the problem no matter what the issue.)

    Of course, no one wants another war. But that is the tragedy of global politics — sometimes war is not only the only the most unwanted option, it is the only option. Not doing something is worse.

  • Jacksonian Libertarian

    Sanctions have never worked on Authoritarian governments, why should we think they will work this time?

    The best solution for Iran is to pull its teeth. If they didn’t have the money from the western developed oil industry, they could be ignored. So take away the soft target oil (storage tanks, refinerys, pipelines, power plants, etc…) and they will no longer have the money to fund terrorists, purchase weapons, and payoff their supporters. Once the Iranians are all on foot and in the dark, special ops missions can go in and deal with all the nuclear sites.

  • Alex Scipio

    The role of Great Powers is to keep the peace, not to ensure the survival of individual leaders. It’s been clear for years that Ahmadinejad threatens world peace. Time to stop talking an DO something about it.

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