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Saturday, October 20, 2012

If Obama Was Planning An October Surprise With Iran, It's Not Working

Yesterday, I posted Is Obama Making Behind The Scenes Deal With Iran To Win Election?, based on an article in WND that claimed Obama has cut a pre-election deal with Iran for a temporary halt to its nuclear program.

The story claimed that matters had gone beyond an agreement to talk to a near consensus on an agreement where Iran would halt its nuclear program. 

Now The New York Times seems to have picked up on the theme, though has scaled it back: U.S. Officials Say Iran Has Agreed to Nuclear Talks:

The United States and Iran have agreed in principle for the first time to one-on-one negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program, according to Obama administration officials, setting the stage for what could be a last-ditch diplomatic effort to avert a military strike on Iran.

Iranian officials have insisted that the talks wait until after the presidential election, a senior administration official said, telling their American counterparts that they want to know with whom they would be negotiating.

News of the agreement — a result of intense, secret exchanges between American and Iranian officials that date almost to the beginning of President Obama’s term — comes at a critical moment in the presidential contest, just two weeks before Election Day and the weekend before the final debate, which is to focus on national security and foreign policy.

It has the potential to help Mr. Obama make the case that he is nearing a diplomatic breakthrough in the decade-long effort by the world’s major powers to curb Tehran’s nuclear ambitions, but it could pose a risk if Iran is seen as using the prospect of the direct talks to buy time.
Announcing the story now not only takes away the surprise, if indeed Obama is able to pull this off -- it now presents the danger of further validating the image of Obama's failed foreign policy in the Middle East if it turns out the deal falls through.

It would be another case of raised expectations followed by poor results, a familiar theme with Obama's tenure as President. The fact that Iran wants to first be sure who the President would be that they would be dealing with would seem to be a deal breaker, especially since Romney is rising in the polls.

In the meantime, the White House has issued the expected denials: White House denies agreement on U.S., Iran nuclear talks

Coverage of the story in Newsmax, reveal other kinks in the would be agreement between the US and Iran:
Republican strategist Bradley A. Blakeman tells Newsmax that if true, the U.S.-Iranian negotiations marks another stain on Obama's foreign policy record and runs counter to Israel's position concerning one-on-one negotiations.

"This tells me that Iran would like nothing better than to have another four years of Barack Obama," he said. By entering into negotations with the U.S., Iran would potentially gain more time to "continue through with their aim for a nuclear weapon and to continue their mischief in the region," he said.

The Times' article noted that some U.S. officials have expressed similar concerns and that Iranian officials have also sought to broaden the discussion to include the Syrian uprising and other issues.
So not only is the story now being denied, but the very idea of the story being true may in and of itself have a negative rather than a positive impact.


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