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Time for Statecraft, Not Stagecraft, on Iran


The Obama administration has been posturing a great deal with its new diplomatic outreach toward Iran.

The results are now in. ProPublica got ahold of Iran’s proposal for talks. It will be difficult for even the most skilled State Department spin to suggest the response shows positive results for Obama’s strategy to find a resolution to Iran’s nuclear issue.

Meanwhile, both Russia and China have suggested they will not support new sanctions, despite the lack of Iranian willingness to engage on the issue within the timeframe previous proposed.

So, not only did Iran not reciprocate Obama’s sincerity, but also the Obama administration’s coordinated diplomacy targeting Russia and China failed. Many Obama aides ridiculed the Bush administration’s approach but now, given an opportunity to test their own theories, they did no better and quite likely did much worse. The episode has left the United States worse off: Not only has the Iranian program progressed, but international feckless exposed Obama’s redlines as illusionary, raising Iranian overconfidence in the success of their own defiance.

An Israeli strike would be a horrible outcome, but given the failure of this latest diplomatic initiative, and the Israeli government’s belief that they face an existential threat, the likelihood of military action has now gone through the roof.


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