Friday, January 04, 2013

Somebody Calls You, You Answer Quite Slowly

At what point do we admit that Iran has no interest in talking about giving up nuclear weapons programs?

Is it any wonder that Iran believes God is on their side?

The European Union says no date has been fixed for further talks on Iran's nuclear program, while hoping they will be soon, an EU foreign affairs spokesman said.

He was reacting to comments from Iran's top nuclear negotiator, who said earlier on Friday the country had agreed to hold talks in January with the six major powers - represented by the EU - about its atomic program.

How long have we been talking to Iran? In that time have they even admitted to wanting nuclear weapons let alone agreed that talks could lead to the end of programs that lead to nuclear weapons?

Iran simply wants talks to make sure military strikes are a "last resort" after talking fails. If Iran keeps talking, they are always at the next-to-last resort phase, no?

At this point, if you want any hope of diplomatic progress, the EU should simply announce the end of talks and leave Iran their phone number if the Iranians want to get serious. Maybe Iran truly will believe the military option is viable if they believe the Europeans have given up on talks and have washed their hands of the question of whether America or Israel will strike. Maybe if the Europeans can convince the Iranians that the EU is truly tired of playing Iran's game, the Iranians will be a little more forthcoming.

I personally believe the Iranians won't do even that, since they very much want nuclear weapons. But it would be clarifying to stop pretending that Iran and the EU are talking about the same thing.

Of course, my deepest suspicion is that the Europeans (and others who support talks) are simply running out the clock to avoid war, and that when Iran gets nukes they will throw up their hands and say, "Well, we tried. Too late now, right? Let's learn to live with Iranian nukes."

EU spokesman Charlie Brown was unavailable for comment.