Absolutely in line with what I predicted her just five days ago (this news is step one of what I expect to be a three-step process), Iran has agreed to direct “talks” with the Obama administration. I call BS on this. This is nothing other than an Iranian attempt to bolster Obama’s re-election chances. It is a cynical, dirty game being played by both Obama and Iran — the same Iran whose “Green Revolution” died when Obama refused to say even a single word in favor of the pro-Western reformers who gathered in the tens of thousands against Iranian repression and corruption,
As for this being bogus, the New York Times notes that “There is still a chance the initiative could fall through, even if Mr. Obama is re-elected. Iran has a long history of using the promise of diplomacy to ease international pressure on it.” Of course. In fact, this could even be counterproductive: “Even if the two sides sit down, American officials worry that Iran could prolong the negotiations to try to forestall military action and enable it to complete critical elements of its nuclear program, particularly at underground sites.”
Israel isn’t happy, either, reports the Times. Nor should it be happy at such a cynical and counterproductive maneuver.
Finally: Curious, isn’t it, that this “agreement” comes just in time for Monday’s presidential debate on foreign policy? Methinks it is an attempt to distract attention from the growing scandal related to Obama’s handling of matters in Libya, so that Iran, instead of Libya, draws most of the questions from a compliant Bob Schieffer.
(One last note: I’m not always a big NYT fan, to say the least, but this particular story is solid throughout. That’s no surprise: It was co-written by one of the NYT’s best, my old college friend and colleague Mark Landler.)