A native New Yorker analyzes politics from a California perspective
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
Hard to see what negotiations with Iran can accomplish
It probably can't hurt, but it's hard to see what further negotiations can possibly accomplish given the state of relations between the United States and Iran. The word from Washington is that the United States will, for the first time, take part in talks between Iran, the European Union and other U.N. Security Council members over Tehran's nuclear program, according to the Cable News Network (CNN). According to the U.S. State Department, the Obama administration has asked the EU to invite Iran to new negotiations, in which Washington has previously refused to participate, CNN said. "If Iran accepts, we hope this will be an occasion to seriously engage Iran of how to break the logjam of recent years and work in a cooperative manner to resolve the outstanding international concerns about its nuclear program," said Robert Wood, a State Department spokesman. But Iran has repeatedly refused previous Security Council demands to stop enriching uranium, which Tehran claims is needed to fuel nuclear power plants. The United States accuses Tehran of secretly trying to build a nuclear weapon, a claim the UN is still unable to resolve. The decision to enter the talks is seen as a further move by the new Obama administration to engage the Iran diplomatically after nearly three decades without formal diplomatic ties. But whether regimes like Iran and North Korea can afford to be more involved with the West is an open question, because such involvement brings with it a host of international responsibilities that those those countries don't seem to be mature enough to live up to.