Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Talking is still on the table

Great article by Omid Memarian. Although, I don't agree with him that the sanctions have not been working.There is substantial evidence that existing sanctions are in fact working, to the degree that they have altered the hardliners and reformers internal dialog on the future of Iran’s relations with the U.S. More Sanctions might not stop Iran's enrichment program, but little short of a compromise on both sides or a major conflict would.

Additionally, Iran's fragile economy, which suffers from the fifth-highest inflation rate in the world, is the result of a series of sanctions and marginalization by the global economy. This has negated the benefits of rising oil prices. For a country in which 69% of the population is under 30, and 20% of the urban population is unemployed, negotiation with the US is not a matter of ideology but of bread and butter.While Washington appears to be leaning toward negotiations with Iran, nobody wants to give Ahmadinejad a free ticket to use for his second term. In the long run, whether Ahmadinejad is re-elected or not, the US should be talking to Khamenei. The rapid raise of oil prices, the inefficiency of US-led sanctions against Iran's economy, and the improbability of another military attack by the US against Iran indicate that the Bush administration's policies toward Tehran have failed.Given this situation, the idea of genuine negotiations with Iran - in other words negotiations with no preconditions - is becoming more and more acceptable in Washington.

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