Bush's About-Face On Iran
"It comes particularly within the context of the U.S.
election campaign. Negotiating with Iran is a demand put forward by Democrat
candidate Barack Obama. In making this decision, the Republican Administration
means to cut the grass out from under his feet and promote John McCain."
by Pierre Rousselin
By Sandrine Ageorges
- Le Figaro - Original Article (French)
The United States is taking a very
important step in the direction of Iran by implicating itself in direct
negotiations over its nuclear program.
Next Saturday, the number three man in the
State Department, William Burns, will attend a meeting with Javier Solana and
Iranian negotiator Saeed Jalilli.
The presence of the American diplomat is
unprecedented. And it will not be merely symbolic. It will be at Saturday's
meeting in Geneva that the Iranians will give their formal response to Western
proposals that Solana presented to Teheran in June.
For European diplomacy, which has led
efforts to reach a negotiated solution, the fact that the United States is
finally getting involved so visibly is a great success. It's a very clear
message to the Iranians about the seriousness of a diplomatic enterprise that
they may have doubted as long as Washington kept its distance.
Posted by WORLDMEETS.US
Americans and Iranians both affirm that
their positions haven't changed. Teheran still refuses to halt uranium
enrichment - a condition set by the United States and five other countries
(France, Germany, Great Britain, Russia and China) for genuine negotiations. Washington claims that additional sanctions will be
imposed if Teheran refuses to halt uranium enrichment and before the U.S. enters such talks.
Secretary Rice answers
questions about Iran,
with Finland Foreign
Minister Stubb, July 17.
The fact remains that the American
administration has made an about-face: it has agreed to participate in
discussions, even if those are presented as preliminary to Iran even accepting U.S. conditions.
If the United States has come forward with
such a gesture, it's in the hope that Iran will take the bait. Western
incentives to stop enrichment will likely spark an internal debate in Teheran,
which must be sustained while betting that those seeking conciliation will get
the upper hand.
Six months before he hands over power,
George W. Bush is distancing himself - at least momentarily - from the prospect
of war in the Middle East. His manner is engendering relaxation on the oil market,
where speculation has catapulted the price of a barrel. It comes particularly
within the context of the U.S. election campaign. Negotiating with Iran is a demand put forward by Democratic
candidate Barack Obama. In making this decision, the
Republican Administration means to cut the grass out from under his feet and
promote John McCain.
Iran's man of the moment:
Negotiator Saeed Jalilli, will take
part - with American
William Burns - on Saturday.
After the American about-face, the ball is
in the Iranians’ court. Now they can be conciliatory without losing face. “In
the near future, it's possible we'll have discussions on different topics with
the United States,” declared Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad on Monday
night, while rejecting any preconditions.
Posted by WORLDMEETS.US
The Islamic Republic wants to be
recognized by the United States as an indispensable interlocutor. It can
seize its chance now or wait for the next American president. But if it waits,
escalating tensions could resume quickly.
CLICK HERE FOR FRENCH
[Posted by WORLDMEETS.US July 18, 1:14am]