Iran has followed President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s recent letter to President Bush with explicit requests for direct talks on its nuclear program, according to U.S. officials, Iranian analysts and foreign diplomats.
The eagerness for talks demonstrates a profound change in Iran’s political orthodoxy, emphatically erasing a taboo against contact with Washington that has both defined and confined Tehran’s public foreign policy for more than a quarter-century, they said.
Though the Tehran government in the past has routinely jailed its citizens on charges of contact with the country it calls the “Great Satan,” Ahmadinejad’s May 8 letter was implicitly endorsed by Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and lavished with praise by perhaps the most conservative ayatollah in the theocratic government.
They wanted those direct talks so eagerly they refused to suspend enrichment of uranium to get them, all the while knowing Bush would never agree to these talks unless they did suspend that enrichment.
But now that a President is coming in who is just as eager to have direct talks with no preconditions they have suddenly changed their tune.
Shocking I tell ya:
Since 2006, Iran’s leaders have called for direct, unconditional talks with the United States to resolve international concerns over their nuclear program. But as an American administration open to such negotiations prepares to take power, Iran’s political and military leaders are sounding suddenly wary of President-elect Barack Obama.
“People who put on a mask of friendship, but with the objective of betrayal, and who enter from the angle of negotiations without preconditions, are more dangerous,” Hossein Taeb, deputy commander of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps, said Wednesday, according to the semiofficial Mehr News Agency.
“The power holders in the new American government are trying to regain their lost influence with a tactical change in their foreign diplomacy. They are shifting from a hard conflict to a soft attack,” Taeb said.
For Iran’s leaders, the only state of affairs worse than poor relations with the United States may be improved relations. The Shiite Muslim clerics who rule the country came to power after ousting Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, a U.S.-backed autocrat, in their 1979 Islamic revolution. Opposition to the United States, long vilified as the “great Satan” here in Friday sermons, remains one of the main pillars of Iranian politics.
And there you have it. The liberals have said over and over again that the only stumbling block between better relations with Iran was Bush and his demand for preconditions. Now that fallacy is in bright neon lights for the liberals to see.
I guess that one’s message of hope and change doesn’t resonate to well with those who want to see Israel wiped off the map, and wouldn’t be too sad to see the US wiped off as well.