Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Diplomacy with Iran

According to an article by David Sanger in this morning's New York Times (here), the Obama administration is tweaking the US framework for negotiations with Iran. Until now, the US has insisted that Iran completely halt uranium enrichment -- at least briefly -- prior to the start of any negotiations. Under the new plan, the US will begin talks while allowing Iran to continue enriching uranium for "some period of time." Sanger defines this "period" as a few months.

The article points out that American conservatives and Benjamin Netenyahu are bound to criticize this idea.

This is smart diplomacy. The problem, so often, with getting talks started with "enemies" (ie, North Korea/United States; Israel/Palestine) is setting up preconditions for talks (such as total cessation of uranium enrichment) that will never be met. Yes, Obama is bending here, but if it means that we can get Iran to the table and change the future course of their nuclear program, then it is well worth it.

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