*1.* I have discovered the one good argument for the US not negotiating directly with the Iranians: they would hand us our ass.
I reached this conclusion after reading the Q&A after “Bush’s 10 April speech”:http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2006/04/20060410-1.html at SAIS.
One of the decisions I made early on was to have a multinational approach to sending messages — clear messages to the Iranians that — that if they want to be a part of the — an accepted nation in the world, that they must give up their nuclear weapons ambitions. And we’re making pretty good progress.
By the way, if you’re studying how to achieve diplomatic ends, it might be worthwhile noting — I think at least — with the United States being the sole interlocutor between Iran, it makes it more difficult to achieve the objective of having the Iranians give up their nuclear weapons ambitions.
It’s amazing that when we’re in a bilateral position, or kind of just negotiating one on one, somehow the world ends up turning the tables on us. And I’m not going to put my country in that position — our country in that position.
He has a point…I think “something like that”:http://www.armscontrolwonk.com/986/sixty-freaking-five-percent actually happened recently.
*2.* I have also discovered the Iranian name for the former US embassy in Tehran. ISNA reported 21 April that Hassan Rowhani, former secretary of Iranâ€™s Supreme National Security Council, called the embassy the” Den of Espionage” in a recent speech.
He said this while arguing that Iran should negotiate with countries like the United States.
The Iran hostage crisis was one of his examples:
While noting that there has always been substantial concern in the back of our minds with regards to foreigners, Rowhani highlighted the case of the Den of Espionage [the former US embassy in Tehran]. He said: In the case of the Den of Espionage, one way to have resolved the situation would have been to sit and talk with the Americans. But instead of talking to the other side, we brought emotions into it and procrastinated until we arrived at a juncture where, after the imposition of the war, we agreed to sit and talk with America. But by then it was too late.
The former SNSC secretary added: Perhaps had we agreed to such a conduct [resolving the hostage crisis through talks] we would have reached a consensus more easily and secured our country’s interests better. But unfortunately it should be said that in difficult junctures we always fail to take quick decisions and let our emotions enter into our decision-making.
Pointing to the [American] hostage crisis [November 1979], he added: With regards to that issue, no one dared resolve the crisis until Iraq launched an attack against our country. But after that, we became prepared. We even hurried in the later stages and moved to resolve the situation quickly since it had come to coincide with the [presidential] elections in America.