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Friday, September 11, 2009

Iran's 'proposal' published; could have been written by Obama

Iran's 'nuclear program proposal' has been published online. The original document may be found here. The buzzwords are peace, cooperation, respect, equality among nations, dignity and no more use of force. It says that some parts of the world need 'special priority' and of course the first part of the world that the document names is 'Palestine,' which needs a "comprehensive, democratic and equitable plan in order to help the people of Palestine to achieve all-embracing peace." Notice no mention of Israel there.

The proposal lists seven 'international issues,' the first two of which are 'reforming' the United Nations and the Security Council (presumably so that the United States no longer gets a veto in return for paying 22% of the UN's budget every year) and global warming. I wonder if Ahmadinejad has ever considered what detonating a nuclear weapons will do to the environment.

The fifth issues calls for a "rule-based and equitable oversight" of the IAEA and the sixth calls for the universal application of the Nuclear Proliferation Treaty. I assume that the intention here is to bring about the disarmament of the United States and Israel.

There are also five economic issues.

What's missing is that there is no mention of Iran's own nuclear program, and of course, no mention of Israel.

ProPublica, which obtained a copy of the proposal and placed it online Thursday night, suggests that the Obama administration may agree to talk to Iran on this basis:
A willingness on the part of Tehran to talk with the United States, 30 years after diplomatic relations came to a halt, could be a boon to Obama's commitment to diplomacy and his efforts to improve conditions in the Middle East. But the Obama administration worries -- as the Bush administration did -- that Iran could orchestrate go-slow negotiations to fend off international sanctions long enough to produce the necessary components for a nuclear weapon.

If Obama rejects Iran's proposals, he is left with few attractive options. He can try to improve the terms of the Iranian proposal, or seek other ways to pressure the Iranians to halt their nuclear program. One option is a new round of tough international sanctions imposed through the U.N. Security Council. Former President Bush pushed for economic sanctions and left open the threat of military action -- neither of which convinced the Iranians to halt its program, come to the negotiating table or to level with international inspectors about the genesis and intent of its nuclear efforts.

One European diplomat said that no strategy seems to be having an effect on Iran at the moment. Still, the diplomat said it would be a mistake to proceed with talks based on the current Iranian offer.

"We have to hold firm to our ideals. Now, above all, is not the time to give the Iranians a chance to discuss every issue under the sun. We have to keep focused on the goal, which is to stop Iran from getting a nuclear weapon," the diplomat said. The diplomat said European countries were seeking clarifications on the offer but didn't say whether they were considering a counterproposal.

One U.S. government official who agreed to discuss the Iranian offer on the condition of anonymity lamented that its lack of detail meant "one could read either very much or very little into" the terms.

The official described it as "a very Persian opening gambit to offer such a big picture," just as a new round of sanctions was being considered. The official also noted that the Iranians had refrained from taking a critical or angry tone in the proposal but said that the Obama administration doesn't want to waste time pushing for talks that won't yield results.

The official said the administration would now need to decide whether "there is enough here to justify meeting the Iranians face to face."
My guess is that Obama will agree to 'talk' on the basis of this proposal for three months. There already have been hints that 'end of September' will slide to 'end of year.' Besides, aside from the fact that the Iranian proposal does not address the issues it needed to address, it sounds like it could have been written by Barack Obama.

What could go wrong?


At 5:56 AM, Blogger NormanF said...

The Iranian proposal neither mentioned the country's nuclear program or Israel. Obama still thinks "engagement" can work with the mullahs. Its just laughable!



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