Direct talks with US possible if west stops pressuring Iran: Ahmadinejad
So, of course, we are going to stop pressuring Iran. Obama has just the crew he wants to accomplish this with Kerry, Brennan, and Hagel all agreeing that sanctions against Iran should be dropped.
Someone get Charlie Brown and tell him to bring his football.
Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Sunday that he is ready to have talks with United States if the West stops pressuring his country, the latest in a series of hints from leaders in both Washington and Tehran about the prospect of direct bilateral negotiations over the Islamic Republic's controversial nuclear program.
However, Washington is highly unlikely to relax sanctions on Iran -- and Tehran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who has final say on key state decisions, says that his country won't negotiate under threat. This makes it hard to envision how talks could take place.
Ahmadinejad is in his final months of his term of office and his followers are weakened by a feud with the Islamic Republic's clerical establishment. His latest statement, which implies that he is an equal player with Khamenei in foreign policy matters, may simply be an attempt to appear as though he is still politically relevant.
"You pull away the gun from the face of the Iranian nation, and I myself will enter the talks with you," Ahmadinejad said at a ceremony marking the 34th anniversary of the 1979 revolution that toppled a Western-backed monarch and ushered in the Islamic Republic.
He said the West had recently taken a "better" tone toward Iran -- a nod to statements made by Vice President Joe Biden last week, in which he said the United States was prepared talk directly to Iran. But the Iranian president said this was not enough.
The West claims Iran's nuclear activities are aimed at developing weapons. Iran denies it seeks atomic arms, saying its nuclear fuel is only for energy-producing reactors and medical applications, and insists that its operations will continue.
"The Iranian nation will not give up one iota of its rights," Ahmadinejad said. "Your efforts had aimed at preventing us from become nuclear, but we did."
Easing sanctions might please the Iranians but it would be a signal to Israel that if they want to prevent Iran from getting the bomb, they will be on their own. It also appears that US policy for the last decade that required Iran to stop enriching uranium before talks could start is now a dead letter. "Normalizing" relations with the Islamic republic will now take precedence over all else.
The words "normal" and "Iran" might be mutually exclusive, but that won't stop the president from trying to realize his signature foreign policy achievement: He wants to be known as the man who reestablished relations with Iran.
Good luck with that, Barry.