U.S. must change Iran policy
Omid Memarian, SF Chronicle
President Obama has promised to restore the United States' moral authority in the world. In order to do so, the new administration should revise U.S. foreign policy that has proved a political failure and undermined respect for international human rights.Is Gates Undermining Another Opening to Iran?
by Gareth Porter, IPS
WASHINGTON - When U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates accused Iran of "subversive activity" in Latin America Tuesday, it raised the question whether he is trying to discourage President Barack Obama from abandoning the hard line policy of coercive diplomacy toward Iran he has favored for nearly three decades.
An Iranian conundrum
IF COUNTRIES like Iran are willing to unclench their fist, Barack Obama said this week on Arabic television, they will find an "extended hand" from America. You might expect Europe to react with a fresh outburst of Obamamania. After all, Europeans like to talk. The European Union, represented by its diplomatic big beasts-Britain, France and Germany-has spent years, together with Russia and China, talking to Iran, in a bid to curb its nuclear ambitions with a set of sticks and carrots.
The U.S. State Department has denied a British newspaper report that the Obama
administration is drafting a "conciliatory" letter to Iran.
White House and State Department spokesmen said Thursday nobody from the administration has asked anyone at either place to prepare such a letter. The State Department spokesman added he could not rule out the possibility that someone at State had taken the initiative to write one.
New White House WMD Czar Wants Immediate Talks with Iran, to 'Manage' North
Korea Until it Collapses
"The discussion today is on the Greater Middle East," Council on Foreign Relations official Gary Samore (suh-MORE-ay) said last week, "and I've always wondered what's so great about it."
The crowd laughed.
"It seems to me it's a part of the world where most of the fanaticism and violence and conflict and tension somehow seems to have become concentrated. So the president doesn't have so much of an inbox as he has a Pandora's Box to deal with."
Samore's view: The Obama administration should meet as soon as possible with a representative of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to see if they can begin a dialogue.
And that Pandora's Box is now Samore's to deal with as well.
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