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First Day of Nuclear Talks Produce Zilch

P5+1 countries Iran talk again today. Will they do more than talk?

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The talks yesterday.(IRNA/Al Monitor)

It’s a little surprising that some (including, I think, myself) are surprised, but the P5+1 nuclear talks with Iran yesterday in Baghdad were not a smashing success. The Iranian side called the new proposal, which would offer 3.5 percent enriched uranium but a stop to 20 percent, “unbalanced.” “The response from the Iranian side is: ‘What you are asking for is … not what we agreed to in Istanbul,’” an Iranian diplomat told Christian Science Monitor. “The points of agreement are not yet sufficient for another round,” another added. Today could be painted as a success in the same colors that the prior Istanbul meeting was: namely, because the sides agreed to meet again today, as had been planned. But how many times can agreeing to meet again be a victory in itself?

Well, depends. The deadline that looms over today’s talks is July 1—when the European Union oil embargo goes into effect. Iran is desperately trying to avoid that, and has been unsuccessful. If more talks were scheduled for before the embargo, then that would kick the can down the road (albeit also give Iran yet more time to, say, enrich uranium or test trigger devices) and give the two sides one more shot at agreeing to something. Dennis Ross makes more sense when he suggests the goal should be regular talks, not these attenuated meetings.

But it feels somewhat dumb even to engage in punditry on this stuff. As Jeff Goldberg notes, the Iranian nuclear program is a cornerstone of the mullahs’ regime. It’s going to take more than talks and promised carrots and threatened sticks to get Iran to make significant concessions. It’s going, at least, to to take that embargo.

Hopes Fade for Progress at Iran Nuclear Talks in Baghdad [Christian Science Monitor]
Iran Says Nuclear Talks Lack Common Ground [Al Jazeera English]
Too Early To Expect a Policy Breakthrough on Iran [The Washington Institute]

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ginzy1 says:

“’It’s a little surprising that some (including, I think, myself) are surprised …. but it feels somewhat dumb even to engage in punditry on this stuff.”

Good morning!!  It’s about time you began to wake up and deal with reality.  To the extent that you are surprised and to the extent that you feel dumb (justifiably) in engaging in punditry on the subject is because you assiduously and ideologically ignored those who wrote that Iran is making fools of the West in general, and Obama in particular.  Rather you based your ill-informed opinions on others who are just as  ill informed (Fareed Zakaria is an excellent example, but he is far from alone in this regard).

You also viewed the whole Iranian conundrum in childishly simplistic left-right terms (Jeff Goldberg also sinned in this regard) with anyone who thought that diplomacy will work is a lefty good guy, while anyone who thought “engaging” the ayatollahs was a waste of valuable time that would be exploited by Iran, was obviously a right-wing Neanderthal complete with horns and a pointed tail.

You were so politically correct, but thereby you demonstrated that political correctness is inversely proportional to factual correctness, particularly when it comes to perceiving reality.

And worst of all you blindly placed the reelection of Obama uber alles, even if it meant fooling yourself on Iran.

I suggest you re-read the Ari Shavit piece you cited in “Daybreak”.  And then read it again.  Shavit is very much a lefty (moderate), albeit a sane and intellectually honest one who bends to reality.  I don’t always agree with him but I do respect him and his intellect.  BTW, about 3 years or so ago he wrote a piece warning Obama that if he doesn’t effectively deal with Iran,  he may well lose the election because of it, especially if they manage a “September surprise” and test a weapon.

Hershel Ginsburg

Jerusalem / Efrata


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First Day of Nuclear Talks Produce Zilch

P5+1 countries Iran talk again today. Will they do more than talk?

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