Sunday, October 21, 2012

By Helping Obama, Iran Hopes To Help Itself Create A New Distraction

Barry Rubin addresses the question Negotiations with Iran: Obama’s `October Surprise’ to Help Win Election?:
Are supposed negotiations with Iran the “October Surprise” intended to win the election for President Barack Obama, an Iranian trick for buying time, or both? The answer is both. It’s an incredibly transparent ploy though with the cooperation of the mass media such a gimmick might well have some effect.
Rubin notes that besides the obvious advantage this story brings to Obama, the New York Times story of course works to the advantage of Iran as it continues its push to gain nuclear capability:
  • This latest "promise" of negotiations will provide pressure against new sanctions which might "risk" diplomatic talks.

  • It might help reelect Obama who is significantly softer on Iran.

  • Since the talks wouldn't be until next year, Iran gives up nothing.
Read the whole thing.

He adds that during the last five years, Iran has proposed various diplomatic formulas for both meetings and potential compromises -- only to retract them or make clear that Tehran’s terms are going to be unacceptable.

Actually, a prime case of Iranian duplicity is unintentionally brought by the New York Times itself:
“It would be unconscionable to go to war if we haven’t had such discussions,” said R. Nicholas Burns, who led negotiations with Iran as under secretary of state in the George W. Bush administration.”

So in other words, the U.S. government is under pressure to talk as long as Iran wants, even if Iran is moving ahead on its nuclear program at every moment during the long, drawn-out, and inconclusive chatting.
Michael Ledeen notes that if anything, by quoting Nicholas Burns on Iran talks, the New York Times undercuts its case:
This last is a bit curious, since Burns, who was Condoleezza Rice’s top negotiator with the Iranians, actually believed he had negotiated a “grand bargain” with the Iranians in 2006. The Iranians would suspend nuclear enrichment and we would lift sanctions. Except that the Iranians failed to show up for the signing ceremony at the United Nations, and Rice and Burns sat in New York waiting for the Iranian airplane to take off from Tehran. Apparently Mr.Burns didn’t learn the obvious lesson.
As we wind down towards the Presidential elections, what other distractions are the voters going to be confronted with?
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