Thursday, March 16, 2006

Iran offers direct talks with US..but only about Iraq

Iran said Thursday it was prepared to talk directly with the United States about Iraq, a major shift for a country that has long avoided contact with the "Great Satan." U.S.

This appears to be a gambit by Iran to offer the Bush Administration `assistance' in curbing the flow of terorrists and arms across its borders to Iraq in exchange for reduced American pressure on Teheran's nuclear weapons program.

The Bush administration agreed that it would talk with Iran - but only about Iraq, not nuclear issues.

The White House said the U.S. ambassador to Iraq, Zalmay Khalilzad, is already authorized to talk with Iran about Iraq.

"But this is a very narrow mandate dealing specifically with issues relating to Iraq," White House spokesman Scott McClellan said, adding that it did not include U.S. concerns about Iran's nuclear program. "That's a separate issue."

The secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council, Ali Larijani, told reporters any talks between the United States and Iran would be limited to Iraqi issues. Larijani, who is also Iran's top nuclear negotiator, said Khalilzad had invited Iran for talks on Iraq.

"To resolve Iraqi issues, and to help the establishment of an independent and free government in Iraq, we agree to (talks with the United States)," Larijani told reporters after a closed meeting of parliament Thursday. He added that negotiators would be appointed for the talks, but declined to give further details.

His statement marked the first time since the 1979 Islamic Revolution that Iran had officially proposed dialogue with the United States.

I have a feeling that when Iran's nuclear program was referred to the U.N. Security Council last month, Russia and China let Iran know that if it wanted a face-saving solution, it had to talk to the US.

Also significant is that the proposal to hold direct talks on Iraq came a day after the senior Iraqi Shiite politician, Abdul-Aziz al-Hakim, called for Iran-U.S. talks.

"I demand the leadership in Iran to open a clear dialogue with America about Iraq," said al-Hakim, who has close ties with Iran. "It is in the interests of the Iraqi people that such dialogue is opened and reaches an understanding on various issues."

A deal may be in the making..or more likely, the appearance of a deal, sufficient to save both Iran and the Bush administration's faces and defer the game to another day.

That could ultimately end up being very dangerous.


Joe Gringo said...

I don't like it, any talks with Iran should begin with their renunciation of their statement of "blowing Israel off the map" and recognize Israel's existence. If Iran wants a "face saving solution", this would be a good start. We've got to have the upper hand here.

Freedom Fighter said...

I don't think talks of any kind with Iran are likely to be productive, since Islam does not recognize any agreements with non-Muslims as legitimate.

So any deal we make with the Mullahs would merely be a stopgap.

Papa Ray said...

I wonder if they are going to discuss if this guy is telling the truth?

20 Terrorist training camps in Iran Uncovered

If only half of what he says is true...Iraq and the rest of us have bigger problems that we thought.

Papa Ray
West Texas

Freedom Fighter said...

Thanks for weighing in, Papa Ray.

Please look at this:J O S H U A P U N D I T: Dancing With Mullahs- What the US and the West need to do to deal with Iran