- Posted: 6:05 AM, May 24, 2012
The Iraqi capital is the site of negotiations between Tehran and the Western powers over Iran's nuclear program and while yesterday's dispatches made it sounds like the diplomats were all whispering sweet nothings to each other, today it seems the Iranians are going to make life difficult for those diplomats who wants a deal more than anything.
"The United States had voiced cautious hope on Wednesday that Iran was finally engaging the powers on practical, transparent ways of showing its nuclear work, marked by years of secrecy and evasions of U.N. inspections, would be for peaceful ends only....But an Iranian delegate poured cold water on suggestions that progress towards an outline deal, seen as crucial to heading off the danger of a new Middle East war, was being made."
What is being ignored by almost everyone in Baghdad is the fact that Iran's goals are in direct opposition to the goals of everyone else around the table. Tehran wants to continue to enrich uranium and get more centrifuges online to enrich uranian so that a nuclear weapon is a fait accompli.
The US and the other five nations want Iran to stop enriching uranium and building centrifuges, but they want Iran to give up this activity of its own accord. No one wants to have to force the Iranian to stop.
One can be grateful for Iranian intransigence at this point, since if the talks fail to produce an even symbolic result, the US and the Europeans might change their tune about military intervention and regime change. But how is it in America's national security interests when our best strategy for these negotations seems to depend on Iran's whims.