Monday, September 04, 2006

Iran Says It Wants Negotiations

I take everything that the Bush Administration and the Iranians say with a grain of salt. But I doubt the Iranians want war. And I wish our president would decisively put an end to the beat of war drums by his neoconservative friends. Another fiasco like Iraq is not something we need. Here's an article by Nasser Karimi of The Washington Post:
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad wants negotiations on Iran's nuclear program but won't halt uranium enrichment ahead of talks, U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan said Sunday after meeting with the Iranian leader.

Annan's two-day visit to Tehran comes after Iran ignored a United Nations deadline to halt uranium enrichment by the end of August, opening the door to possible sanctions.

(snip)

Iran appeared more responsive to U.N. concerns regarding Lebanon, where it backs Hezbollah, the militant Islamic group that fought Israeli troops during a 33-day war.

Ahmadinejad "reaffirmed his country's support for the implementation of resolution 1701," Annan said, referring to the U.N. resolution that imposed a cease-fire and included measures to prevent the rearming of Islamic militias.

(snip)

Annan arrived in the Iranian capital after visits to Lebanon, Israel and Syria. He is also scheduled to visit Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Turkey.

UN Secretary General Kofi Annan may not have the power of George W. Bush but it's good to see someone out there trying to act like a world leader. For several generations, American presidents have acted as leaders of the free world with varying degrees of ability and commitment. The role requires work, integrity, and clearly defined missions; and it requires more than an occassional 21-minute phone call to world leaders and more than empty talk about democracy. Sometimes, it requires talking to our enemies; and sometimes it requires real negotiations with a strong Secretary of State or a strong National Security Adviser in support. Our current failed foreign policy does not qualify. For the first time in generations, the leader of the free world is awol.

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