Actually it’s Obama who wants to talk to Iran, but I’ll bet you knew that already. Brace yourself. It’s going to be a hard, hard ride. “Barack Obama: Administration willing to talk to Iran ‘without preconditions,'” by Julian Borger for The Guardian, January 21 (thanks to Sr. Soph):
The new Obama administration is willing to talk to Iran “without preconditions” and will work towards the abolition of nuclear weapons, the White House said today.
The Obama foreign policy agenda that appeared on the White House website said: “Barack Obama supports tough and direct diplomacy with Iran without preconditions,” the policy outline said. The Bush administration made direct talks between the US and Iran conditional on Iranian suspension of its uranium enrichment programme. This step breaks that conditionality, as part of a fundamental shift in diplomatic approach. The Obama agenda said the new administration will “talk to our foes and friends” and not set preconditions.
However, talks with Iran will be “tough and direct”, and will put on the table the same deal that the international community has been trying to get Tehran to accept for the past four years: extensive economic and diplomatic help if uranium enrichment is suspended, further economic pressure and diplomatic isolation if it does not. Iran has resisted this carrot-and-stick approach so far, despite four sets of UN sanctions, but western diplomats hope that direct engagement by Washington will help break the impasse. “In carrying out this diplomacy, we will coordinate closely with our allies and proceed with careful preparation,” the White House said. “Seeking this kind of comprehensive settlement with Iran is our best way to make progress.”
And…what happens if the diplomacy fails? Well, in that case only Iran will have nukes:
The other notable shift in US foreign policy announced today was a strategic decision to move towards a “nuclear free world”, through bilateral and multilateral disarmament. “Obama and [Vice President Joe] Biden will set a goal of a world without nuclear weapons, and pursue it,” according to the agenda. It is a long term goal. The US will maintain a “strong deterrent as long as nuclear weapons exist”, but begin to take steps on the “long road towards eliminating nuclear weapons”….