Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Obama sends an Olive Branch to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

Barack Obama has proven once again that he's a man of his word. One of the centerpieces of his presidential campaign was his pledge to engage in diplomatic negotiations with America's enemies, and lo and behold, he's about to keep good on that promise:
The Obama administration is leaning toward making a major diplomatic overture to Iran before the country's presidential elections in June, possibly in the form of a letter from President Obama to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, according to two senior European diplomats who have met in recent weeks with key State Department officials.

The letter would be aimed at initiating talks over the Iranian nuclear program and Iran's role in neighboring Iraq and Afghanistan, the diplomats said, speaking on condition of anonymity...

Earlier this week, State Department acting spokesman Robert Wood told reporters: "We have offered our hand to the government of Iran, and we hope to be able to engage this government on a whole range of issues...."

US officials have already begun testing the waters of engagement. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton recently announced that Iran would be invited to an upcoming multinational conference on Afghanistan, and Iranian officials have reportedly signaled that they will consider attending.
But I thought Iran was allied with Al Qaeda! Oh well, just a small bump in the road, I suppose. No big deal......
However, some European officials have long warned that a major gesture toward Iran before the June presidential election risks influencing its outcome, perhaps improving the chances of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, running for re-election.

But others say that holding off on a diplomatic overture until after the election carries even bigger risks.

"It is a good idea to send the message that they are engaging a government and not an individual," said Trita Parsi, president of the National Iranian American Council.
Trita Parsi of the National Iranian American Council? But isn't he just a puppet of the Iranian regime? And isn't the National Iranian American Council just a front organization for the Iranian mullocracy?

Yes, that's correct, but if Obama is reaching out to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, he might as well listen to what his puppets have to say....
Separate media reports claimed on Wednesday that Turkish President Abdullah Gul, who is in Tehran to attend the summit of Organization for Economic Cooperation, passed on a "verbal message" from the White House regarding US-Iran relations to his Iranian counterpart.

According to Turkish media, following his closed-door meeting with President Ahmadinejad, the Turkish president said, "The ice of US-Iran relations has been broken, but it will take time to normalize the situation."
Ah, the ice has been broken at last! What a relief!

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