Why can't Iran and USA just "work things out"?

Discussion in 'Middle East - General' started by -Cp, May 12, 2006.

  1. -Cp

    -Cp Senior Member

    Sep 23, 2004
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    OMG - the liberal media has gone bonkers now over Iran:

    Why won't U.S., Iran hash out differences?


    VIENNA, Austria -- As the United States toughens its stance on Iran's nuclear program, and bitterness toward America hardens on the streets of Tehran, many people can't help but wonder: Why don't the two countries hold face-to-face talks to ease the crisis?

    "The most effective way to resolve the international standoff ... is through direct talks between Tehran and Washington," said Lebanon's The Daily Star newspaper in an editorial.

    Experts say that a meeting between Iranian leader Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and President Bush would seem an obvious follow-up to Ahmadinejad's letter to Bush this week. But many doubt a summit, even if arranged, could bridge the two nations' virtually irreconcilable differences.

    Bush, they point out, doesn't want direct dialogue with the head of a state he labeled part of an "axis of evil," along with Iraq and North Korea. Doing so would acknowledge Ahmadinejad's legitimacy.

    And Ahmadinejad's letter was laced with old grievances against an America that Tehran brands the "Great Satan" and included a long list of Iranian demands.

    Shen Dingli, director of the Institute of American Studies at Fudan University in Shanghai, China, said the countries regard each other as enemies and approach the nuclear issue from opposite directions.

    "Iran believes it must acquire nuclear weapons to ensure state security. The United States does not want to have direct talks with Iran, just like it does not want to talk with North Korea," he said.

    Shahin Gobadi, spokesman for the Paris-based National Council of Resistance of Iran, an exile group, said a Bush-Ahmadinejad summit is implausible because Tehran "has not been willing to accept the norms and rules of conduct of the 21st century."

    This regime is built on the concept of medieval religious tyranny. It's not compatible with dialogue," he told The Associated Press.

    If Ahmadinejad's 18-page menu of grievances sums up Iran's position, then "there is no prospect of negotiation," said Steve Hoadley, associate professor of political studies at New Zealand's Auckland University.

    "The countries are ideologically, politically, strategically quite different," he said. "They are on a collision course because Iran has ambitions to regional leadership. Nuclear weapons are part of that equation."

    Iran and the United States have had no diplomatic relations since 1979, long before the nuclear standoff. That's when Iranian students stormed the U.S. Embassy in Tehran and held its occupants hostage for 444 days to protest Washington's refusal to hand over the toppled shah, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi.

    Deborah Elms of the Institute of Defense and Strategic Studies in Singapore said there still are no official channels for U.S.-Iranian talks, and Washington doesn't want one. "The Bush administration has long-standing policy of what they call not negotiating with blackmailers," she said.

    The long-standing rift between the United States and Iran is far from unprecedented. For decades, Britain - bloodied by Irish Republican Army bombings - refused to talk directly with Sinn Fein, the IRA-linked party that represents most of Northern Ireland's Catholics.

    But others have found ways past formidable political obstacles. Spain has always rejected negotiations with ETA, the armed Basque separatist group, unless it lays down it weapons. Yet there were at least two rounds of talks between in the 1980s and 1990s.

    In a speech this week in Seattle, former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright urged direct talks with Iran, saying: "The last thing we need is to invade another country."

    Fearing that the United States might resort to military force to stop what it insists is a covert nuclear weapons program, world leaders made fresh pleas this week for high-level dialogue.

    Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, after talks Wednesday with Ahmadinejad in Jakarta, said that he believed Iran was willing to find a diplomatic solution. He offered to help mediate.

    Malaysia, a moderately Muslim country which chairs the 57-nation Organization of the Islamic Conference, also urged Washington to seek an amicable solution with Iran at the negotiating table. Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said he told Bush by telephone last week: "A diplomatic solution would be better than another approach."

    China believes "the best way to solve the issue is to go through diplomacy and negotiation," said Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao. China and Russia have balked at U.S. efforts to put forward a draft resolution under Chapter 7 of the U.N. Charter. Such a move would declare Iran a global threat and could lead to sanctions or possible military action if Tehran does not suspend uranium enrichment.

    Konstantin Kosachev, the Kremlin-allied head of the Russian State Duma's international affairs committee, said talks were unlikely. He called on the international community to find a unified position, to restrain "the most radical forces in both Washington and Tehran."

    Rasul Bakhsh Rais, professor of political science at Pakistan's Lahore University of Management Sciences, said before talks there must be trust.

    "Their strategic visions are so conflicting and their roles in the Middle East, perceived by each other, are so antagonistic," he said. "Even thinking that they will sit together at the negotiating table ... is really irrational."

  2. theim

    theim Senior Member

    May 11, 2004
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    Madison, WI
    It's worse, actually. Go to Daily Kos or somewhere like it. A ton of liberals actually have no problem with Iran getting nukes. "Who are we to say that blah blah blah" and all their usual trope. I'm telling you we must still try to keep the GOP in control because if these people ever get ANY influence in government again it will be a disaster of epic proportions.

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