OpinionIran in the World PressTehran isn't talking

Tehran isn’t talking


Washington Post – Editorial: The Obama administration recently has been boasting of the success of its campaign to impose sanctions on Iran, which is said to have had a significant impact on the country’s economy.

The Washington Post


Tuesday, January 25, 2011; A18

THE OBAMA administration recently has been boasting of the success of its campaign to impose sanctions on Iran, which is said to have had a significant impact on the country’s economy. But inflicting distress was not the end goal of the policy; the administration’s theory has been that Iran would respond to sanctions by agreeing to serious negotiations about its nuclear program. Consequently, last weekend’s meetings in Istanbul between Iranian representatives and a six-nation coalition can only be seen as a serious setback. Far from softening its long-standing refusal to suspend its enrichment of uranium, Iran refused to bargain with the United States and its allies, and Tehran’s representative declined even to meet with the U.S. member of the delegation. There was no discussion of further talks.

If the regime is indeed feeling threatened by the sanctions, there was little sign of it from its chief negotiator in Istanbul, Saeed Jalili, who struck rhetorical poses aimed at domestic and regional audiences. Mr. Jalili insisted that there could be no substantive discussions unless the United States and its allies met several preconditions, including the lifting of U.N. sanctions. Even the confidence-building measure that Tehran previously has toyed with – an exchange of part of its growing stockpile of enriched uranium for fuel rods in return for a research reactor – was off the table. The best Western diplomats could say about the meeting is that the coalition, made up of the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council and Germany, had been firm and cohesive in rejecting the Iranian position. Since Iran made no effort to negotiate, this was hardly a significant achievement.

The failed meeting might make it easier for the Obama administration to win support for still more sanctions, though it would probably face an uphill battle in obtaining another Security Council resolution. The bigger question is whether the strategy of seeking to bargain with the regime of Ali Khamenei and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad should be reconsidered. Because it has banked on this approach, the administration has consistently played down U.S. support for the opposition Green movement, which has been dormant in recent months. Yet Mr. Jalili’s behavior in Istanbul suggests that the regime remains more concerned about appearing weak to its domestic opposition than about the consequences of defying the Security Council.

By doing more to support the Iranian opposition, the United States could press the regime where it actually feels threatened. It could also send an important message to Iranians: that the international coalition seeks not to punish them but to weaken the government they despise.

Latest news

What Gas Poisonings In Iran Tell Us About The Ruling Regime

For months schools in Iran have been in the crosshairs of gas attacks against the country’s children. The mullahs’...

Iran’s Regime Inches Toward Nuclear Weapons

Iran’s regime is once again at the center of a dangerous escalation of the proliferation of nuclear weapons. A...

US Congress Expresses Support for Iranian People’s Quest for a Democratic, Secular Republic

Several bipartisan members of the U.S. House of Representatives have presented a resolution (H. RES. 100) supporting the Iranian...

Wave Of Poisoning Attacks Against Schools Leave Hundreds Sick

Iran has been shaken for three months by serial poisoning attacks against all-girls schools, which has left more than...

Iranian Security Forces Beat Baluch Doctor To Death

On Thursday, February 23, activists in Sistan and Baluchestan provinces reported the news of the death of Dr. Ebrahim...

World Powers Should Hear The Voice Of Iranians, Not Dictators And Their Remnants

Iran’s nationwide uprising continues despite its ups and down. The clerical system’s demise no longer seems a dream but...

Must read

Clinton says U.S. could ‘totally obliterate’ Iran

Reuters: Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton warned Tehran on...

France’s Total says decision on Iran LNG far off

Reuters: Total reiterated on Thursday it was still in...

You might also likeRELATED
Recommended to you