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Posted at 1:00 PM ET, 12/ 7/2010

The danger of talking to Iran

By Jennifer Rubin

In light of the letter sent yesterday by a bipartisan group of senators urging the president to press forward on sanctions against Iran, I asked Jamie Fly, executive director of the Foreign Policy Initiative and a former Defense Department and National Security Council official, if there are downsides to talking yet again to Iran about a nuclear weapons program it shows no sign of relinquishing. He e-mailed me:

Always a danger that Iranians will use negotiations to buy time to continue to develop their nuclear program. But it is unclear, despite all the talk of the supposed impact of the sanctions, that the Iranians feel they need to even pretend to compromise at this point. The way Secretary Clinton spent her time in Bahrain literally running after her Iranian counterpart encapsulates the situation we are in -- the Obama administration appears more desperate for a deal than Tehran. They should reinforce the message that time is running out and that the military option remains a viable option if Iran does not halt it's program. The threat of force is the only approach that gives us a chance of changing the regime's calculus.

He is referring to the ludicrous sight of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton stalking Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki not once, but twice. Nile Gardiner characterized the scene as "humiliating." But it is also foolish, conveying a whiff of desperation to the Iranian regime that perceives weakness as an opportunity to dig in.

It is not an auspicious start to talks that, at this stage in the game, may only encourage more Iranian gamesmanship.

By Jennifer Rubin  | December 7, 2010; 1:00 PM ET
Categories:  Hillary Clinton, Iran, foreign policy  
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Talks can be used by Iran to buy time.

However, not having talks with Iran can be used by Iran to buy time too.

We have a situation in which Israel has nuclear weapons, Pakistan has nuclear weapons - and other nations want them to. We don't see those countries willing to drop their nuclear programs in exchange - so the Iranians find it to be an unequal situation.

Not sure what to say about it.

Then you have the whole Shi'ite-Sunni split - the Shi'ites will always want to keep up with the Sunnis - and no negotiations are going to change that dynamic.

Posted by: RainForestRising | December 7, 2010 1:48 PM | Report abuse

The truth is the democrats have become the "Party of Bait and Switch"

And they are insisting on the "switch"

However, the real situation is that the customer has come back to complain - and the customer is complaining that the Bait be honored - instead of the "switch"

And we have the liberals here - complaining, screaming - they want the "switch" to prevail -

The problem is clear: The "switch" is a non-starter - and the whole country is angry at the left. The "switch" will not hold, it will never win an election - and the American People want their money back.


Posted by: RainForestRising | December 7, 2010 2:01 PM | Report abuse


Take your medicine, because your second post is damn near incomprehensible today.

So why is everything urgent with Iran today, when it wasn't for the prior 8 yeras?

Posted by: 54465446 | December 7, 2010 2:42 PM | Report abuse

"He is referring to the ludicrous sight of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton stalking Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki not once, but twice. Nile Gardiner characterized the scene as "humiliating."

Personally, I thought the sight of Dick Cheney carrying Ahmed Chalabi into Iraq piggyback was worse, but maybe that's just me.

Posted by: 54465446 | December 7, 2010 3:26 PM | Report abuse

the partisanship of 54465446 is so blinding that common sense can never show through.

Were Iran's nuclear ambitions an urgent issue during the Bush years. Yes, of course. Bush chose to do what the liberals always demand: talk, talk, talk. We spent millions I'm sure making empty suits like Javier Solana available to the Iranian negotiating team. This is the liberal soft power. It didn't work, it was never going to work.

Now partisan hacks like this guy wants to whine because it didn't get done under Bush. Basically folks like that will never be satisified with anything done by anybody who isn't a card carrying liberal. Just nonsense.

And another little piece of common sense pal: 8 years means that Iran has had all that time to lie and develop, lie and develop. All the while the pin headed liberal Eurinals were blathering and blathering.

when Iran incinerates an Israeli city I wonder how thoughtless partisans like this guy will react. My prediction: blame Bush.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | December 7, 2010 4:27 PM | Report abuse

"Giving the Finger to Iran". Art, image.

Posted by: nuggerb | December 7, 2010 4:46 PM | Report abuse


I'm trying to follow your logic. It's not that it didn't get done under Bush. Bush vastly increased Iran's power as he was warned by the Saudis he was doing. In destroying Iraq's heinous but Sunni dominated govenment he upset the balance of power in the Middle East that his father wisely chose to leave in place.

You didn't think Bush Sr. stopped the Persian Gulf War for no reason did you? He was warned by the Saudis that Iraq was needed as a counter to Shiite dominated Iran, and he chose to follow their advice.

Junior received the same counsel from the Saudi's and chose to ignore it. NO ONE was happier about the US invasion of Iraq than Iran! He smashed every bit of deterrance that has held the Iranians in check and in effect handed Iraq over to the Shiites, who are a large majority of the Iraq population.

Do you not know about Cheney and Wolfowitz's totally being duped by Ahmed Chalabi? Do you know about his current role in the Iraqi government? If you don't know these things, why are you posing as someone who is able to give worthwhile opinions?

Israel has somewhere between 65 and 110 nuclear devices ready to go, depending on which agency gives the estimate. No Arab nation would field an army against Israel. However they rightly wish to make sure that Amehdidijad isn't the one crazy who believes in mutual destruction.

The Israelis did a great job with stuxnext, and they have been killing Iranian nuclear scientists one by one, but of course they don't want to leave even a small possibility for the Iranians.

I didn't cite any sources for the above, because your invective laden and fact free post indicates you're not at all familiar with the situation in these countries. If you want, go look up what I have written on sites that you trust, Very little of it is even controversial.

Posted by: 54465446 | December 7, 2010 7:35 PM | Report abuse

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