Digitalglobe, via Agence France
Press, Getty Images, satellite image
of Iranian nuclear facility of Fordo
The headline this morning read, "U.S. Defines It's Demands For Iran Talks", from David E. Sanger and Steven Erlanger, "The New York Times", April 8, 2012.
The essence of the article: Before we begin "negotiations" with you over your nuclear program give it up or else. The or else being if you don't give it up we'll take it out for you.
Technically, we're not at war with Iran. Yet according to President Obama, this is Iran's "last chance" to "immediately dismantle a nuclear facility deep under a mountain at Fordo, halt production of uranium fuel and all existing stockpiles of that fuel be shipped out of the country".
These are not pre-conditions for "negotiations", they're ultimatums.
From here, negotiations are supposed to be diplomatic sit-downs between adversaries because a stalemate exists between them. Negotiations are not ultimatums demanding unconditional surrender as a pre-condition for talks.
But this is what happens when one side exercises world hegemony and acts with arrogant hubris telling Iran it's our way or the highway.
Is this supposed to intimidate Ayatollah Khamenei and the other clerical hard line rulers in Iran? Will U.S. threats help the internal opponents of the Iranian regime to somehow coalesce and overthrow it?
Or will U.S. intimidation backfire, act to inspire Iranian nationalism, its people choosing to rally around the Iranian nation rather than capitulate to an outside aggressor?
Khamenei has stated openly, it would be a "sin" for Iran to develop a nuclear bomb (all but dismissed and ignored by the U.S.). Iran is a signee to the nuclear non-proliferation treaty and is legally permitted to develop nuclear energy for peaceful means. It is in basic compliance with the IAEA nuclear inspectors.
All 17 U.S. intelligence agencies in 2007 and 2010 concurred that Iran gave up pursuit of a nuclear weapon in 2003.
Even General Dempsey, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs says Iran is a "rational actor" and is not suicidal i.e. would never risk the certain annihilation of the Iranian people and civilization in a nuclear exchange.
So, why the bluster coming from the U.S. before "negotiations" with Iran begin?
Presumably to get the Israeli leadership to consider not attacking Iran while negotiations are in progress and for the Obama administration to counter neo-conservatives and right wing attacks that condemn Obama for being "soft on defense". And lastly, any attack on Iran BEFORE the November presidential elections would be disastrous for Obama's re-election prospects creating upheaval not only in the oil market but also for the U.S. and world economy.