Dennis Ross is a skilled diplomat and often argues that diplomacy is the best tool to utilize with Iran, but, to protect U.S. national security, Washington should lay the groundwork so that U.S. diplomats can negotiate from a position of strength.
So far, though, the Obama administration has done the opposite. Ray Takeyh, Ross’s Iran advisor, told the Iranian press early last year that “Iran has the right not to suspend [enrichment]” (Source: Etemaad, Jan. 30, 2008), a statement which undercuts Ross’s negotiation position if, indeed, the Obama administration is serious about holding the Islamic Republic to three U.N. Security Council Resolutions demanding a halt to Iranian enrichment.
Now, citing President Obama’s statements that he’s not opposed to Iranian enrichment, on April 4, Resalat headlined: “The United States capitulates to the nuclear goals of Iran.”
So much for leverage. It’s one thing to engage adversaries; it’s quite another to have them laugh at us.