Policy Shift Seen in U.S. Decision on Iran Talks
Originally Posted by Appeaser in Chief
"Some seem to believe we should negotiate with terrorists and radicals, as if some ingenious argument will persuade them they have been wrong all along," Bush said.
Without mentioning Obama by name, Bush compared "this foolish delusion" to the prelude to World War Two.
"As Nazi tanks crossed into Poland in 1939, an American senator declared: 'Lord, if only I could have talked to Hitler, all of this might have been avoided.' We have an obligation to call this what it is -- the false comfort of appeasement, which has been repeatedly discredited by history," he said.
PARIS — The decision by the Bush administration to send a senior American official to participate in international talks with Iran this weekend reflects a double policy shift in the struggle to resolve the impasse over the country’s nuclear program.
First, the Bush administration has decided to abandon its longstanding position that it will only meet face-to-face with Iran after it first suspends uranium enrichment as demanded by the United Nations Security Council.
Second, it infuses the negotiating track between Iran on the one side and the six global powers - France, Britain, Germany, Russia, China and the United States -- on the other with new importance, even though their official stance is that no substantive talks can begin until the uranium enrichment stops.
The presence of William J. Burns, the under secretary of state for political affairs, at the meeting led by Javier Solana, the European Union foreign policy chief, and Saeed Jalili, Iran’s nuclear negotiator, in Geneva on Saturday brings with it both symbolic and substantive significance.
All of the Bush administration’s negotiating partners, particularly the Europeans and the Russians, have been pressing Washington to join the talks. They welcomed the decision to send Mr. Burns as an important signal by the Bush administration, in its final months in office, that it is seeking a peaceful solution to the nuclear crisis and not moving toward military action against Iran.
“We are awaiting the formal announcement from Washington, and if this is the case, we are very pleased by the administration’s decision,” said Cristina Gallach, Mr. Solana’s spokesman, in a telephone interview. “It is a clear signal to the Iranians of the engagement of the United States and its commitment to pursue a negotiated solution. At the same time, it is a clear message to the Iranians of the seriousness of this exercise.”
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