Two points on Iran…

*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”: at SAIS.

He said:

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”: 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 Iran’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.

9 thoughts on “Two points on Iran…

  1. Yale Simkin

    Why was the India reference a joke? The disasterous India-US agreement is more properly a tragic farce, accelerating the disintegration of the ironically mis-named Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty.


  2. Paul

    To be more precise, I was not arguing that Bush was actually referring to the India deal. But I used his comment as a vehicle to criticize that deal.

  3. Yale Simkin

    I was aware of your target….

    I was just taking an opportunity to editorialize on the India-US nonsense while in an irritable mood.

    I did appreciate the irony of of your comments.

  4. Amit Joshi

    Whether the India-US deal leads to the disintegration of the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty remains to be seen. However as far as India’s part of the world goes, the NPT has never had any utility or relevance. Whether it was India’s acquistion of weapons or Chinese behavior on proliferation, the NPT appears to have been an insignificant variable in the equation.

  5. dan

    It’s a hilarious juxtaposition: Rowhani converses intelligibly, analyses the past coherently and critically, and offers lessons learned.

    I don’t know how to begin to characterise Bush’s statement.

  6. ht

    Hassan Rowhani, , called the embassy the “Den of Espionage” in a recent speech.

    Well he to, has a point. Just look over some of the documents recovered/taken from the building. They where shredded before the surrender. However, religious students manged to put them back together again. (I guess I could plug Atheism here, but I understand these kids also get to censor the photos in foreign newspapers and magazines which has to be one of the cooler jobs in Iran 😉 ) These documents where published under the title: “Documents From the U.S. Espionage Den”. (Get your PDF copy at

    The embassy may have been a regional CIA base. You can also learn some other interesting stuff from them. Think about, for example, the fight within the CIA over whether soviet “defectors” should by default be trusted as poor people fleeing a horrible “regime” or distrusted as disinformation sources send by the KGB. (

    I guess the more things change the more they stay the same, just ask Washington’s favourite bank robber 😉

    Also, on the Iran bilateral talks thing, this stuff is complicated. But to me it will never make sense without remembering that Cheney`s daughter is planning a “orange flags and tents appearing out of thin air” operation on the central Tehran square in her capacity as state dept. “democracy czar”.,,2089-2070419,00.html (Does Tehran even have a central square?)

    Hey, with there being such a neat correlation between bases being planned, soviet armies being cleaned up, countries being promised to join the EU and “regimes”* being denounced by the NGO`s of “former” CIA bosses… you kinda wonder if the new US embassy in Tehran will be a regional CIA base again. (

    *) “regime” : A goverment that can’t eat at the cool kids table


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