Thursday, June 22, 2006

Iran to respond to the incentives package...oh, end of July, mid-August...who knows?

Iran's Ahmadinejad, Kofi Annan and the US all have their own ideas about an appropriate response time for Iran..while the uranium enrichment continues, Iran builds up its military and the clock keeps ticking.

Iran's president Ahmadinejad made a point of saying that Iran would not respond `until August' in a speech to a crowd in western Iran in a speech broadcast live on state television.

The incentives package was given to Iran June 6th.

By the way, the mullah he's shown shaking hands with in the picture is none other than Mullah Abdul Aziz al-Hakim, the head of the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq at their meeting last Sunday, one of the major Shiite parties..which should give you some food for thought when you think about Iraq and its future..

The US, on the other hand, wants an answer by next week.

U.S. National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley said that it would be “helpful and useful if we could get a response and know where the Iranians are” before the June 29 meeting of G-8 foreign Ministers in Moscow prior to the G-8 summit two weeks later.

U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. John Bolton said that June 29 would be “an ample period of time, very reasonable time in which Iran could respond.”

“I think we’ve made it clear that if the Iranians don’t choose the path that’s been presented to them, the alternative path is one of increasing isolation — that we’d be prepared to move very quickly in the Security Council,” Bolton said.

Kofi Annan, on the other hand, had a little chat with Iran's foreign minister Manouchehr Mottaki and says that there will be no Iranian response before mid-July.

"I don't think they will give an answer before the G-8 meeting in St. Petersburg," Annan told reporters after the meeting. The G-8 meeting of the world's eight industrialized democracies in St. Peterburg, Russia is to run July 15-17.

"I expect their answer to come after that meeting, but I can't tell you specifically on what date," Annan said.

The Iranians are acting in accord with their the bazaar, you never start by putting your best offer on the table first...which is exactly what we've done. it's natural for them to expect the ante to be upped and the package of incentives sweetened as the bargaining intensifies. In the meantime, they are obviously enjoying the sense of power of being at the center of the world's deliberations.

Not only that, but the mullah's tyranical regime has been legitimized by all this far beyond what they could have hoped for.

For me, I myself don't know if this is a final offer (certainly it's more than generous enough) or an opening gambit by the West.

Stay tuned...

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