Sunday, October 4, 2009


Why is Pres. Obama making the same mistakes in his dealing with Iran as did hated George W. Bush?

Mohamed ElBaradei, head of the IAEA, announces that negotiations with Iran are proceeding in good faith, and that Iran has agreed to open its Qom nuclear processing site to U.N. inspectors on October 25th. Furthermore, Iran has agreed to send all of its processed uranium to Russia for conversion into harmless nuclear fuel.

Yet much of the reaction from Obama's Washington is how Iran must do this, must do that. Where are the important and needed Obama celebratory words congratulating Iran for being willing to sit down and negotiate? Instead we get doom and gloom, and injunctions to Iran that it better move quickly.

Here is Politico reporting on the words of Susan Rice, U.S. Ambassador to the U.N., on Meet the Press today.

"U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice on Sunday warned that Iran had to move quickly to prove its nuclear program was for peaceful purposes.

"“If it doesn't, time is short,” Rice said on NBC's "Meet the Press."

"She told host David Gregory, “We're not interested in talking for talking's sake. We're not interested in interminable negotiations. They have to demonstrate conclusively that their program is for peaceful purposes.”"

Suppose you were Iranian. Suppose you were also an opponent of Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. How would you feel about the threatening words of Susan Rice, Pres. Obama's friend and confidante?

However, all is not so bleak. The BBC reports on words of Obama's security adviser, retired general James Jones, praising Iran for its willingness to negotiate. Reports the BBC:

"US National Security Adviser Jim Jones said Tehran was now "willing to come to the table", following talks this week between Iran and major powers. . . .

"Speaking on CBS television on Sunday, Mr Jones said: "We now have an Iran that is willing to come to the table.""

Iran has agreed to several important steps after its sit-down negotiations with the U.S. and EU countries. Furthermore, ElBaradei believes that it is now negotiating rather than engaging in confrontation. The BBC reports:

Speaking after talks with the top Iranian nuclear official, Ali Akbar Salehi, Mr Elbaradei said the talks had been successful, and that inspectors would ensure that the Qom facility was for "peaceful purposes".

"He added: "I see that we are shifting gears from confrontation into transparency and co-operation. I continue, of course, to call on Iran to be as transparent as possible.""

Some of Pres. Barack Obama's signals will do little to foster the good faith needed on both sides to continue to engage in meaningful and productive diplomacy between Iran and the West. Stop the threats a' la Bush against Iran, and instead reward the Iranian government for taking meaningful steps, as Obama's security adviser, James Jones, has done.

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