May 27, 2006

SORRY, AL QAEDA DOESN'T WANT US MAKING FRIENDS WITH HERETICS:

U.S. Is Debating Talks With Iran on Nuclear Issue (STEVEN R. WEISMAN, 5/27/06, NY Times)

The Bush administration is beginning to debate whether to set aside a longstanding policy taboo and open direct talks with Iran, to help avert a crisis over Tehran's suspected nuclear weapons program, European officials and Americans close to the administration said Friday. [...]

One reason senior administration officials do not like the idea of talking with Iran, many of them say, is that they are not certain Iranian leaders would respond positively. A rebuff from Iran, even to a back-channel query, is to be avoided at all costs, various officials agree.

The administration, for example, has been embarrassed by the on-again, off-again possibility of talks with Iran on Iraq, which were authorized by Ms. Rice late last year.

The concern, some say, is that talking to Iran only about Iraq will anger Sunni dissidents in Iraq, reinforcing the Sunni-led insurgency while enhancing the status of Iraqi Shiites, whose strong ties to Iran make Washington uneasy.

On the other hand, the American ambassador to Iraq, Zalmay Khalilzad, was said to be eager to enlist Iran in helping to deal with Iranian-backed Shiite militias, which are accused of carrying out killings and kidnappings of Sunnis in Iraq.


Here's one of those stories that drives home just how much the Embassy episode in 1979 has warped American policy. Note that the official position is that we have to appease our Sunni enemies rather than help Shi'ite democrats.

Meanwhile, if the President gave a speech in which he offered to fly to Teheran for a meeting with Ayatollah Khamenei it would be a diplomatic coup whether they accepted or not and would deepen the rifts in their regime regardless.

Posted by Orrin Judd at May 27, 2006 8:12 AM
Comments

oj. Did you mean to say that if Bush would offer to "fry" Teheran ... ?

Posted by: erp at May 27, 2006 11:59 AM

I question whether "heretic" describes the relation that Shiites bear to Sunnis and vece versa. "Schismatic" is much more apt.

Posted by: Lou Gots at May 27, 2006 1:03 PM

Mr. Gots, both branchs are heretics. Mohammad was the seal of the prophets. There can be no heir.

Posted by: Robert Mitchell Jr. at May 27, 2006 2:08 PM
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