Monday, October 22, 2012

October Surprise ?

There has been talk of an October surprise regarding Iran, especially in right-wing circles. I think the hope was that Israel would unilaterally bomb Iran's nuclear fuel-producing plants, and that this would be advantageous to Willard Mitt Romney -- because it would make it look like the Iranians were much closer to making an atomic bomb than they actually are (if they are trying to make one at all, which has not been proven). It would also put pressure on President Obama, making it look like he has not been hard enough on Iran -- a case that Willard has been trying to make without much success.

But it now looks like the Obama administration has pulled off an Iranian October surprise of their own. Iranian officials have told several different sources that they have agreed in principle to hold one-on-one negotiations with the United States over nuclear power for Iran. The Iranians say they want to wait until the American election is over before starting the talks, because they want to know who they would be negotiating with.

Obama administration officials admit they have been pursuing such talks, almost from the time President Obama took office. They denied a deal has been fully agreed to though. Although they have agreed on the talks with Iranian officials that report to Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the Americans say they don't know if the Ayatollah has agreed to the talks.

Whether the talks actually happen or not (and I believe they will if the president is elected), this should delay any military action anyone (including the Israelis) was planning to take against Iran -- and that's a good thing. Anyone taking military action right now would be condemned by most nations as starting a war just when there was renewed hope for peace. It also makes it much harder for Willard to make a case in these last couple of weeks that President Obama has not dealt effectively with Iran.

If the talks are held, I hope both sides take them seriously and really try to reach a peaceful solution, because I believe there is a middle ground that could be found -- a middle ground that would let Iran develop nuclear power without developing a nuclear bomb. It is unreasonable to think that Iran should not be able to produce electricity for its citizens using nuclear power -- a right we would not deny to any other nation.

This is great news for both countries. The last thing the United States needs is another war that cannot be won. We already have too many of those, and cannot afford another, either financially or militarily.


  1. Now, I wonder why the Iranians are so keen to see Obama back in the White House?

  2. Maybe they are smarter than Republicans, and know that war is bad for everyone.

  3. That "Obama administration officials admit they have been pursuing such talks" while imposing "the harshest sanctions ever imposed in history" and seeking even more harsh sanctions is an extraordinarily strange form of diplomacy, and not one that I actually am willing to believe.

    I do think the point in your comment is valid to a significant degree, and that Iran sees Romney as more closely wedded to Israel, and Obama less willing to be directed in Mideast policy by the dictates from Tel Aviv. But Obama is not going to back down fron his "red line" on Iran's nuclear program and uranium enrichment.

    The release of this just days before the "foreign policy debate" and weeks before the election strikes me as very, very suspicious.


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