Monday, November 05, 2012

Despite Denials, Obama Is Having Secret Talks With Iran After All

Last month, I posted about the question Is Obama Making Behind The Scenes Deal With Iran To Win Election?. It was based on the WND story claiming that Obama had cut a pre-election deal with Iran for a temporary halt to its nuclear program.

According to the story:

  • Iran would announce a temporary halt to partial uranium enrichment
  • In return, the U.S. would remove many of its sanctions
  • Iran would not halt its enrichment unless it receives Obama’s written guarantees
  • The guarantees would spell out Iran’s right to peaceful enrichment
  • The U.S. would also announce that the killing of Iranian nuclear scientists was the work of a foreign country, though Israel would not be named, in order to increase legal pressure on Israel.
However, news about an actual deal being reached may have been premature.

The New York Times came out with a more modest version of the story -- 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.
In any case, the Obama administration had denied the story at the time.

But now YnetNews is reporting that Obama's senior adviser Valerie Jarrett is assisting in talks with Iran.
Last month, The New York Times reported that the US government is engaged in secret talks with Iran aimed at establishing a direct line of communication once the US presidential elections are over.

The National Security Council's spokesperson denied there is any agreement between the US and Iran regarding direct talks, but the following day senior government officials confirmed that talks took place though no future meeting was scheduled.

The US has tried to keep the secret contacts under wraps since some of the countries involved in the public negotiations, such as Russia, were excluded from them.

Israel was originally surprised to learn of the talks, but state officials now reveal that they were going on for several months. The talks, they claim, were initiated and led by Jarret, and took place in Bahrain.

The US State Department estimated the economic pressure on Iran will peek in February or March, immediately after the president-elect takes office, rendering the talks over Iran's nuclear program – in case they materialize – with potentially positive results.
Jarrett was born in the Iranian city of Shiraz -- but by the same token, Jarrett does not have any experience in foreign policy. Neither is it known whether she has any knowledge of Iran other than having been born there.

So is this revelation a deliberate attempt to project an image of Obama as a world class leader, right before the elections, or is it an unwanted leak that will undermine the intended talks and annoy countries which will feel they should have been informed?

Hat tip: LBD and BR

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