Iran Agrees to Nuclear Negotiations
According to the New York Times, Iran has agreed to start discussions with the United States over its nuclear program. This information has been more or less officially leaked. The timing of the announcement is coincidental giving the upcoming presidential election.
During the early days of the President’s first term, he publicly offered to meet with Iran without preconditions in order to discuss its nuclear program. The Iranians slapped down the President, refusing his offer to talk.
Given the proximity of the upcoming presidential election, the potential for a positive outcome for the talks is suspect. Unless Obama is reelected any discussions between his Administration and the Iranians would be of minimal value.
In addition, the timing of the talk’s announcement is suspect and could be an attempt by the Obama Administration to advance its reelection goal. This becomes more likely given the turmoil in the Middle East and the attack in the US consulate in Benghazi, both which have tainted the President’s foreign policy record.
Finally, the Iranians have in the past used the bait of negotiations as a stalling tactic as they continue their quest for nuclear weapons. Negotiations between countries with highly diverse strategic goals only work under one of two circumstances: either one country defeats the other in conflict or both sides have a willingness to compromise. Neither circumstance exists with any proposed negotiations between the United States and Iran.