Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Here We Go Again With Iran

Once again people are talking about the U.S. talking to Iran, as if there were a point. The LA Times has an op-ed up called, "The U.S. and Iran: It's time to talk." It's a prime example of the simple-minded naivete that permeates this desire to talk, even when our enemies are clearly unreasonable, unwilling to bend on the issue we want to talk about, and completely untrustworthy.
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.

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.

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.

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.


  1. Nice analysis. but let's be serious, it wasn't that hard. I do my own foreign policy blog and was going to do another piece on this topic (US diplomacy with Iran to stop their nuclear program), but realized it was unnecessary, as arguements I have already made countless times (basically your arguement here) was still true. Iran knows they have virtually nothing to fear from the US, which of course is sad, but for the most part true. Obama has given virtually no signs that he will bring real pressure down on the Islamic Republic and these talks will just provide the Isl Republic time and international legitimacy. I hope we are wrong, but anybody who has followed this process would be foolhardy to think otherwise.

  2. Yeah, I've said basically the same thing before multiple times. It's just been awhile and I saw that article in the LA Times so I thought I'd say it again :).