Iran: Ready or not to talk? Washington: Ready or not?

In an amazing display of very late-night– or very early-morning– blogging, Laura Rozen put a post up this morning showcasing a Reuters report that Iran’s ambassador to the IAEA in Vienna Ali Asghar Soltanieh had “announced Iran’s readiness to take part in any negotiations with the West based on mutual respect.”
She walked her first report back a bit, after Iran’s Press TV reported that Soltanieh said “”There have been no comments or interviews with TV networks on nuclear talks or conditions.” (Which is not a complete rebuttal of what Rozen first reported.)
Rozen has more about all the “will they, won’t they?” speculation about Iran’s future actions that is rife in the Washington political elite that’s both inside and outside the administration. (Sometimes, outside, but close to it.)
The current focus is whether Tehran will send someone to the proposed talks on the nuclear issue that Washington wants to see held before the UNGA session opens at the end of September.
As usual, one of the smartest remarks comes from Trita Parsi, whom Rozen quotes as saying,

    I don’t think worst case is that they don’t show up… They’ll show up. The worst case scenario is that they show up but they are incapable of making any big decisions because of political infighting in Iran.

This is precisely the fear I’ve had since I first articulated it eight days after the June 12 elections.
The “end of September” deadline is one the Obama administration has been pretty insistent on. It is related primarily to the “understandings” the administration seems to have reached with the (nuclear-armed) government of Israel, to the effect that Washington will try to squeeze significant concessions out of Tehran before the end of the year… and if that doesn’t work, then Washington will push hard for much tighter international sanctions against Iran and possibly other potentially even more hostile acts.
The end of September deadline does not, however, take into account either the now-imminent incidence of Ramadan or the continuing, long-drawn-out deadlock in the internal power struggle inside Iran’s theocratic governance institutions.
Insisting on the deadline, or taking concrete policy steps that further escalate the west’s tensions with Iran, would be most likely to strengthen the hardliners inside Tehran/Qom.
Another inescapable factor in this is, of course, that Washington no longer occupies the uncontested Uber-power position at the pinnacle of the global system that it occupied even three or four years ago. To get any significant strengthening of the international sanctions regime against Tehran requires the concurrence of, at the very least, all the other members of the Security Council’s P-5.
At a time of increasing American dependence on (inter-dependence with) both Russia and China– not to mention the NATO allies– that is far from a foregone conclusion.
Rozen does some good reporting (and some that’s not so good.) But she does seem to operate these days almost totally within the DC policy bubble, and too seldom looks at the broader dimensions of world affairs within which the US’s foreign policy operates.

6 thoughts on “Iran: Ready or not to talk? Washington: Ready or not?

  1. Titus

    The end of September deadline does not, however, take into account either the now-imminent incidence of Ramadan or the continuing, long-drawn-out deadlock in the internal power struggle inside Iran’s theocratic governance institutions.
    Say what? Ahmadinejad was declared winner, congratulated by Chavez, and assumed power. What is the problem? Get going Ahmad.
    The Ramadan is the most chrimson herring Arabs have invented. Does fasting during the day prevent life from going on and absolve us from our duties? Like this Abdulsomething that was convicted for Pan Am 103 over Lockerbie and is serving life in Scotland. Now the perps are pushing for early release (at age 57!) arguing prostate cancer, and compassion for Ramadan.
    What part of life sentence do these moron don’t get. A convict of killing hundreds on Pan Am 103 should never be released, I wonder what the Scott’s are thinking and whether they may have shared a drinking glass with Helena.
    It was a US carrier, mostly US victims, the US should never had deferred justice to the Euro cowards.
    May Abdulsomething live a long life in Scotland blessed by a slow and painful cancer. And maybe some day he will rat on the other 100 Arabs involved in the Lockerbie attack.

  2. Salah

    Helena,
    Read this report, I don’t how much truth in it, but I pass it here to pick the attentions of CIA, Pentagon and US Army in Iraq, if they knew that then don’t call it conspiracy theorise , if later Israel come saying Ooh Iran just did this and that inside Iraq then we see Israeli military on the ground inside Iraq then this is not a dream or conspiracy theory also.
    here you told and informed let see what you doing about its.
    قصة صواريخ سكود الايرانية على الحدود العراقية:
    بعد فضيحة الانتخابات الايرانية الاخيرة وبعد زيادة قوة الترابط ايران وجماعة علي حاتم السليمان والهايس, بدأت ايران تزيد من تغلغلها داخل محافظة الانبار وخصوصا بعد الانسحاب الامريكي من المدن في نهاية الشهر السادس , حتى وصل بها الحال ان قامت بانشاء مقرات وقواعد اشبه بمقرات الشرطة في مناطق نائية من صحراء الانبار القريبة من الحدود السورية والاردنية بحجة انها نقاط حدودية خلفية ومقرات لصحوة الانبار, ثم قامت وبصورة سرية بنقل صواريخ “سكود” الروسية طويلة المدى بواسطة عناصر من الميليشيات وبالتعاون مع قيادات نافذة من الصحوة الى تلك النقاط وخزنها في مناطق قريبة من الحدود بين سوريا والسعودية والعراق,تم ادخال تلك الصواريخ من سوريا وتخزينها هنالك مع عربات مموهة للاطلاق,كانت الصفقة بين ايران وعلي حاتم السليمان وجماعته هو التعهد لهم بتسليمهم مقاليد الحكم في الانبار والتخلص من ابو ريشة وضمان حصولهم على ما يكفي من المقاعد في البرلمان القادم مقابل قبولهم بحماية تلك الصواريخ وقواعدها والتي قالت لهم بانها مجرد “درع صاروخي” لشنّ هجوم صاروخي على اسرائيل اذا ما هاجمت اسرائيل ايران خلال الفترة القادمة,وعن امكانية ان تقصف اسرائيل تلك المناطق في حال اكتشاف اسرائيل لمناطق انطلاقها, اقنع الايرانيون حاتم السليمان بان اسرائيل سوف لن ترد بقصف المنطقة لانها ستظن ان “القاعدة” هي التي اطلقت الصواريخ من تلك المناطق ,بالاضافة الى ان المنطقة صحراوية وارض خالية فلن تجد اسرائيل ما تضربه فيها.(علما ان صدام قد استهدف اسرائيل بعدة صواريخ من تلك المنطقة فعلا).اما اذا ما جرى واكتشف الامريكان تلك الصواريخ,فسوف يدعي الجميع انها من مخلفات النظام البائد ولهذا جرى طلائها بنفس الوان صواريخ “الحسين” العراقية مع وضع العلم العراقي القديم (ابو النجمات) عليها..
    http://www.kitabat.com/i58955.htm

  3. bb

    Sure, Trita. More likely the Iranians will open dialogue and “negotiate” directly with the US for no other reason than to lure Obama into conferring legitimacy on the regime.
    Looks like Trita has a way to go before he internalises what this regime is all about and what its intentions are.

  4. rags meiklejohn

    As a matter of interest, Titus, is there ever a single asinine semi-literate racist thought that flits through the tumbleweed of your mind that you don’t feel compelled to put in words and share with the rest of us?

  5. Titus

    Hey Rags,
    The Lybian case is news everywhere, on BBC radio, and even lady Clinton has brought it up, she strongly protests the plan to let the scum out. What is so racist about demanding justice for this Arab murderer and about pointing out what the families of the victims also said, that it is unlikely that bringing down a plane is the act of a lone mid level bureaucrat.
    This is Just World News, and I enjoy finding daily news that question the editorial line of this site, of muslims can do no wrong, anti American, and of course obsessed with anything Israeli. Reality offers such enjoyable ironies, and it would be selfish to enjoy them alone.
    BTW, do you care to opine on the main topic. Should a mass murder doing life be released on compassionate grounds?
    Should lady justice stop being color blind and factor in Ramadan for example? Should we empty our jails before cinco de Mayo?

  6. rags meiklejohn

    It may be the main topic on whatever shock jock radio station you rely on for your information on the world, but it is not the topic of Helena’s posting – it is about Iran, and does not mention Lockerbie or Libya. What gives you the right to dictate that whatever is making the steel plate in your head throb should be today’s topic of discussion?

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