March 22, 2006


Iran's supreme leader favors talks with USA on Iraq (AP, 3/22/06)

Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said Tuesday that he approves of proposed talks between U.S. and Iranian officials on Iraq, but warned that the United States must not try to "bully" Iran. [...]

Khamenei is considered the leader of hard-liners in Iran who largely prevented reformists from opening greater contacts with the United States. Still, under his rule, Iran has held lower-level talks with American officials, particularly in multilateral gatherings for efforts to stabilize Afghanistan and counter narcotics, for instance.

Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said Friday that the talks could help Iraq form a government, while Ali Larijani, the secretary of the Supreme National Security Council, said Iran hopes the meetings will help lead to U.S. troop withdrawal.

Iran has considerable influence with Shiite political parties who dominate Iraq's parliament, and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has said U.S.-Iranian talks on Iraq could be "useful."

The Western press seems even worse at Ayatollology than they were at Kremlinology.

Posted by Orrin Judd at March 22, 2006 7:16 AM
Comments you think the Soviets would have passed up a chance to attend meetings on the formation of a British cabinet? Or a West German government? Oh, wait a minute....they already did that.

Sure, Khameini will talk. But will he deal? Will he move? Quaddafi finally did, but the mullahs and their Council may not prove to be as 'realistic'. :>)

Posted by: jim hamlen at March 22, 2006 9:08 AM

The USSR was a single party dictatorship. Iran is a multi-party democracy, though not yet a liberal democracy. Ahmedinijad would have passed it up. Khamenei won't let him.

Posted by: oj at March 22, 2006 9:15 AM

IRAN'S supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, called on the United States today to leave Iraq, saying any eventual talks with Washington would not touch on other issues.

"Our clear viewpoint about Iraq is that the US government should leave this country and stop provoking the tribes and creating insecurity in Iraq so that the Iraqi people govern their own country," he was quoted on television as saying.
"We will not talk with the Americans about any other of the disputed issues between Iran and the US," he said, addressing pilgrims at a shrine in the northeastern city of Mashhad.

As Captain America wrote on Rantburg:

Folks, you will note that the only aspect of this statement by Khamenei that the MSM is covering, is the one where he agrees to talks on Iraq.

No mention of calling on the US to quit Iraq in the MSM.

Posted by: Sandy P. at March 22, 2006 10:12 AM


George Bush says we should leave Iraq ASAP.

Posted by: oj at March 22, 2006 10:32 AM

Amazing. The nation that couldn't defeat Iraq after eight years of war is talking like one of the big guys ... kind of Saddam like ... the mother of all whatever.

Posted by: Genecis at March 22, 2006 12:10 PM

They did defeat Saddam.

Posted by: oj at March 22, 2006 12:13 PM


What was the kill ratio in that war? Probably at least 3:1 in favor of Iraq, maybe higher. The Iranians 'won', but only in the sense that Saddam did not move the border 100 miles to the East, and because Iraq was more desperate at the end than at the beginning. But Iran is more scarred by the war than Iraq (although this is probably because Saddam had already scarred his own country enough).

Posted by: jim hamlen at March 22, 2006 12:48 PM


That's all the war was about.

Posted by: oj at March 22, 2006 12:52 PM

True enough. The pity for Iran is that the war probably destroyed more families than the Revolution did - at least that is the case among most of my Persian friends here in the States. One friend lost two brothers, another killed himself after being gassed, and a sister was also killed. In most other countries, there would have been political change after such an experience. But not Iran - that is one reason why I don't share your optimism.

The war is like a stain - I remember having dinner with this same friend in Phoenix (at a Middle Eastern place). When he found out the owners were ex-patriate Iraqis, I thought it might be uncomfortable. But they basically commiserated and shared their sorrows (we were the only diners that night). It was a moving experience, mainly because I had never seen an Iraqi (in this country) express any emotion at all (this was in 1995). I imagine now, with Saddam gone, it is different.

Posted by: jim hamlen at March 22, 2006 3:14 PM

And we backed the wrong side.

Posted by: oj at March 22, 2006 3:23 PM

I thought we backed both sides (depending upon who was winning/losing).

Posted by: jim hamlen at March 22, 2006 4:27 PM

OJ "They did defeat Saddam."

"The conflict saw early successes by the Iraqis, but before long they were repelled and the conflict stabilized into a long war of attrition. The United Nations Security Council called upon both parties to end the conflict on multiple occasions, but a ceasefire was not agreed to until 20 August 1988, and the last prisoners of war were not exchanged until 2003."

They did not defeat Saddam, we did in a few weeks ... twice. Of course he was denied the use of gas.

Posted by: Genecis at March 22, 2006 4:41 PM

"they were repelled" If France were capable of doing that to the Germans we'd consider them to have won WWI and WWII.

Posted by: oj at March 22, 2006 4:48 PM

P.S. Wikipedia: The war left the borders unchanged. Two years later, as war with the western powers loomed, Saddām recognized Iranian rights over the eastern half of the Shatt al-`Arab, a reversion to the status quo ante bellum that he had repudiated a decade earlier.

Posted by: Genecis at March 22, 2006 4:49 PM


Exactly. He attacked them but they beat him.

Posted by: oj at March 22, 2006 4:55 PM

Odd that if Saddam had used gas against US troops, we probably would have killed 100,000 Iraqis in a few weeks, but the left would have been much quieter about the war. Odd.

Posted by: ratbert at March 22, 2006 7:03 PM


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