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May 31, 2006
Iran Presser Live Blog

Since I am homebound for the moment waiting on home health care to arrive to teach me to perform home IVs on the First Mate, I will watch the press conference called by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice that will apparently announce direct talks with Iran on the nuclear-proliferation crisis.

10:04 - Iran represents a direct threat to the security of the US and world, and has accelerated its efforts to enrich uranium. So far, this sounds more like an indictment, not a conciliation.

10:05 - Offering a choice for Iran between a "negative choice" - pursuing nuclear weapons at "great costs". The positive and constructive choice would be to immediately suspend enrichment activities and returning to IAEA-based negotiations.

10:07 - This is just a proposal along the same lines as we have seen before, except with the carrot of direct talks. It's significant, but not earth-shaking. Iran won't agree to suspend enrichment, and certainly won't agree to the kind of verification necessary to pursue this offer.

10:10 - "If the Iranian nation believes it will benefit from the possession of nuclear weapons, it is mistaken." The example of North Korea to the contrary, of course.

10:11 - Questions ... Any linkage to concessions from Russia and China on sanctions? It appears not. One suspects that the UN Security Council has been rendered moot by this process anyway.

10:18 - Had to change channels; Fox's anchors think they're more interesting than the news conference.

10:19 - The US decided to join the EU-3 talks directly because we feel that the negotiations require our "weight" to check their the further expansion of their program. Translation: The EU has failed to do it themselves.

10:20 - Rice calls out the Iranians for their public vacillations. Good.

10:20 - Not ready for full diplomatic relations yet, but Iran can work towards a better relationship now.

This really doesn't change much except for an American offer to join direct, multilateral talks based on a condition that the Iranians have already said they won't meet. It does provide an effective response to Ahmadinejad's latest PR campaign and puts the onus back on Teheran for progress. I suspect that was the entire purpose of this statement.

Sphere It Digg! View blog reactions
Posted by Ed Morrissey at May 31, 2006 9:59 AM

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