Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Obama to drop uranium precondition for Iran nuclear talks.

The Guardian are saying that this is "a major concession to Iran to end the deadlock over its nuclear programme", but it's only common sense as far as I am concerned.

In what amounts to a major policy shift, the Obama administration is set to drop a precondition for the start of negotiations on the nuclear issue - that Iran first suspends its uranium enrichment process.

The precondition has been the biggest stumbling block in efforts over the past few years to open talks. The Bush administration insisted upon it but Tehran adamantly refused.

The Bush precondition was simply dumb. Iran is allowed to enrich uranium for civilian purposes according to the NNPT, so Bush was, in effect, asking that Iran give up all her rights before talks could even begin.

It really was typical of the way those arrogant neo-con arseholes always behaved; that they insisted you admit utter defeat before any negotiations could commence.

If there has ever been an American administration worse at diplomacy than that lot then someone will have to name them, because they took some beating when it came to irritating opponents whilst obtaining no practical advantage for themselves.

And, of course, for both the Obama administration and the administration of Ahmadinejad this game of cat and mouse has been added a new spice with the election of Netanyahu in Israel.

Negotiations have been given added urgency by threats by the new Israeli government, led by Binyamin Netanyahu, to bomb Iran's nuclear facilities to prevent it achieving a nuclear weapons capability. Israel predicts Iran could reach this point by the autumn.

The Israeli president, Shimon Peres, in a radio interview on Sunday, urged the Iranian president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, to enter into the talks proposed by President Obama. If Ahmadinejad failed to back down over the nuclear issue, "we'll strike him", Peres said.

I'd be very surprised if Israel were to dare to do such a thing without the permission of the Americans. Up until now the Israelis have known that the Bush regime were practically egging them on to attack Iran, there would certainly have been no complaint from the neo-cons had Israel decided to take matters into her own hands.

Now that Obama is in power that is no longer the case and Netanyahu would be suicidal were he take matters into his own hands. His relationship with Obama is already strained, but a pre-emptive strike would give us the largest break in US/Israeli relations in my lifetime.

So, perhaps at the moment, Israel's posturing suits Obama as a way of getting Ahmadinejad to the table. Although I am sure Ahmadinejad is reading this situation better than I am. He is not a fool and he must know what is going on here.

Iran is so far down the road towards achieving a nuclear weapons capability that it is becoming increasingly hard for the US to force Tehran to suspend its nuclear activities.

The best that Obama may secure is a fudge in which Iran has the know-how but stops just short of building nuclear weapons and agrees to intensive United Nations weapons inspections.

This, again, highlights one of Bush's more ludicrous demands, where he latched on to the fact that Iran must be denied "the knowledge" of how to make a nuclear weapon.
"Iran was dangerous, Iran is dangerous and Iran will be dangerous if they have the knowledge necessary to make a nuclear weapon," he said at a press conference following the release of the NIE.
Short of building one of those machines from 1960's TV programmes, where a person's brain can have the knowledge sucked out of it, Bush was always lowering the bar in an utterly ridiculous way.

We can't stop people from knowing things, we can only negotiate with them and ensure that they never act upon any knowledge which they have.

It really is a relief to have an administration which deals with realities rather than the utterly ridiculous stances which Bush adopted over the past eight years.

Bush, either deliberately or through stupidity, always made it very easy for Ahmadinejad to say, "No!"

Obama, by behaving so utterly reasonably, makes that a much harder thing for Ahmadinejad to say without arousing considerable suspicion.

Click title for full article.


Steel Phoenix said...

It seems to me that modern foreign policy is 90% posturing.

I'm convinced Iran already has nukes and everyone knows it. It is in the best interest of everyone to continue the illusion.

Kel said...

That's interesting SP because I don't believe they have nukes at all.

I think Bush's attitude led to Iranian posturing, and I actually believe the NIE report which stated that they halted their programme in 2003.

But I accept that we are both guessing here.