critics are warning that Iran will use the talks to stall for time to advance its nuclear ambitions and weaken international resolve for economic sanctions.What nonsense. The LA Times is arguing that Obama operate based on wishful thinking, rather than take a realistic approach to Iran. One of two things is likely to happen if the U.S. talks to Iran. The first and most probable outcome is that the impasse will continue. We have nothing we are willing and able to offer Iran that would convince it to dismantle its nuclear program, and we can't trust their illegitimate regime to abide by any agreements anyway. The second likely outcome is some sort of attempt at appeasement by the U.S., similar to Clinton-era agreements with North Korea. In this scenario, we give Iran certain concessions, and they agree to suspend any military aspect of their nuclear program, allow inspections, etc. If the Obama administration is stupid enough to pursue such a policy, the North Korean model will be repeated. Iran will pretend to comply, take whatever we give them, and at some later date obtain nuclear weapons anyway.
Maybe so. But even if that is Tehran's plan, Obama must follow through on the offer. He must pursue talks seriously, with the intention of success and not the assumption of failure.
There is simply nothing to talk about. Let's stop pretending that we can talk Iran out of a quest that it has spent numerous years and countless resources pursuing. Our policies should be aimed at delaying their program as long as possible through sabotage and other covert means, while preparing to implement a strategy of containment once they finally obtain nuclear weapons. If we do talk to Iran our only message should be in the form of clear, easily understood and unmistakeable threats. We shoud make the leaders of Iran understand in no uncertain terms that Iranian use of nuclear weapons, or the use of Iranian weapons by terrorist proxies, will result in the utter annihilation of Iran as a nation-state. That's the only kind of talk that might do some good -- although they may not believe it coming from the Obama administration.