The Corner

Negotiating With Iran

The problem is less opening an interest section — sensible, if nothing else for the intelligence operations it enables — than Bill Burns’ involvement in the negotiations. Condoleezza Rice laid out clear red lines in May 2006. We have reversed ourselves. Some may see pragmatism; the Iranians will see that we have no credibility. This will make matters worse. The other irony I find in the position of those who say we should have no preconditions; i.e., we should talk while Iran enriches uranium is that this, in effect, means Washington unilaterally voids three Security Council resolutions by showing Iran we are willing to negotiate its adherence to and blur the meaning of these resolutions.

Michael Rubin is a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, senior lecturer at the Naval Postgraduate School’s Center for Civil-Military Relations, and a senior editor of the Middle East Quarterly.

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