September 4, 2009

SOMETIMES, NOTHING IS A REAL COOL HAND:

Could Obama Rescue Ahmadinejad? (Amir Taheri, 04/09/2009, Asharq Alawasat)

But what would Ahmadinejad be prepared to give in exchange for all that he expects from Obama?

The answer from Tehran is: nothing of substance- at least in the short term.

"The US should recognize Iran as an equal partner in international affairs and acknowledge its position" says Dr. Manuchehr Muhammadi, an advisor to Foreign Minister Manuchehr Mottaki, " However, the US should not insist that the Islamic Republic of Iran change its policies or behavior."

Judging by the mood music in Tehran, Ahmadinejad is prepared to offer Obama a photo opportunity that the new American president could sell as his first diplomatic victory. In exchange, Ahmadinejad would expect Obama to recognize the Islamic Republic as the regional "superpower", giving it a veto on key issues of the Middle East including Afghanistan, Iraq and the Israel-Palestine conflict.

Thanks to recent events in Iran, engaging Iran is no longer about the controversial nuclear dossier. It is about saving Ahmadinejad whose troubled presidency may be heading for even deeper waters. The hand that Obama has stretched out to Iran may turn out to be a lifeline thrown at a drowning Ahmadinejad.


Only one fact matters in any such negotiations between nations: at the point that the "negotiating" begins it is already over, because one side has already conceded. Applying that analytical framework to the US v. Iran it is obvious that if the Obama Administration sits down with Ahmedinejad it is accepting a radical interventionist and nuclear-armed Iran.

Posted by Orrin Judd at September 4, 2009 6:38 AM
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