Friday, March 20, 2009

Obama reaches out to Iran in new video message.

After eight years of neo-con bluster and threat, all of which achieved precisely bugger all, Barack Obama has released a video sending a very different message to Iran.

"So in this season of new beginnings I would like to speak clearly to Iran's leaders," the US President said in the video. "We have serious differences that have grown over time. My administration is now committed to diplomacy that addresses the full range of issues before us, and to pursuing constructive ties among the United States, Iran and the international community."

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has said Iran would welcome talks with the US but only if there was mutual respect. Iranian officials have said that means the US needs to stop accusing Iran of seeking to build nuclear weapons and supporting terrorism, charges Tehran has denied.

Obama and his foreign policy team are looking for opportunities to engage Iran and help reduce tensions between the two countries, which increased during Bush's time in office.

"You, too, have a choice. The United States wants the Islamic Republic of Iran to take its rightful place in the community of nations," Obama said. "You have that right, but it comes with real responsibilities, and that place cannot be reached through terror or arms, but rather through peaceful actions that demonstrate the true greatness of the Iranian people and civilization."

I have no idea how Iran will respond, but a good place for the US to start is by acknowledging that, under the NNPT, Iran are not currently doing anything illegal.

Bush always insisted that Iran suspend the enrichment of uranium, a process which Iran is perfectly within her rights to do, before talks could take place. It was a typically arrogant neo-con stance. Admit defeat and we can talk.

Obama appears to be beginning by acknowledging that everything is on the table and that threats will not work any better now than they have for the past twenty eight years.
"This process will not be advanced by threats. We seek instead engagement that is honest and grounded in mutual respect."
It's a beginning.

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