Bush to restore relations with Iran after election?

If this report is true (and the story is actually an old one ), then one might assume that taken in tandem with the President's actions during the financial crisis, that he has abandoned any pretense of governing as a responsible conservative and has given in to the temptation that afflicts all presidents; the driving necessity to shape the history of their tenure and put it in the best possible historical light:

The story appears in the Israeli left wing newspaper Ha'aretz so make of that what you will. Ha'aretz has been decidedly more dovish on Iran but they haven't gone off the deep end. They have demonstrated editorially in the past that they have no illusions about Iran but wish to avoid conflict with the mullahs if possible.

And they are inveterate Bush haters.

But all that aside, the news that Bush may be moving toward re-establishing relations with Iran will no doubt bring howls of protest from many:

Several American media outlets reported on Saturday that President George Bush is likely to announce after next month's presidential elections that he intends to restore the diplomatic relations with Iran, almost 30 years after they were suspended.

Quoting U.S. civil servants, the reports said that Bush's decision to postpone the announcement until after the elections was meant to rid the two presidential candidates of having to deal with the controversial move.

Tehran has already been informed of the initiative, but its view on the matter remains unclear. Similar reports were published a few months ago, but the plan was then put on hold.

Earlier this month, the American Iranian Council, a U.S.-based organization, was banned from operating in Iran. However, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said during a U.S. tour last month that he would consider restoring his country's relations with the U.S.

Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki has said Tehran would favorably consider such proposal, as long as it was to be carried out bilaterally.

The problem is that we would be giving the Iranians something basically for free. Why we would want to do this for the #1 terrorist state in the world without some kind of quid pro quo is a mystery. Does Bush seriously believe that liberal historians - who have already declared him the "worst president in US history - will look any more favorably on his tenure as president as a result of any rapprochement with Iran?

Regardless, if Bush is planning on this as a serious overture, he will get some strong opposition from both the neocons and realpolitik conservatives who seek regime change in Iran. They would see any opening to the mullahs as appeasement.

Hat Tip: Weasel Zippers