US to guarantee the sovereignty of Iranian Regime?

No "hope and change" for the Iranian people - not if Obama's State Department gets their way regarding a new "overture" to Tehran.

It will apparently take the form of a letter - either addressed directly to Supreme Leader Khamenei or an open letter. The letter may do something that no American president - not even Jimmy Carter - was willing to do; guarantee the legitimacy and sovereignty of the Iranian regime.

In othe rwords, both a "no invasion" pledge as well as the US promising not to seek regime change by proxy or otherwise:

State department officials have composed at least three drafts of the letter, which gives assurances that Washington does not want to overthrow the Islamic regime, but merely seeks a change in its behaviour. The letter would be addressed to the Iranian people and sent directly to Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, or released as an open letter.

One draft proposal suggests that Iran should compare its relatively low standard of living with that of some of its more prosperous neighbours, and contemplate the benefits of losing its pariah status in the west. Although the tone is conciliatory, it also calls on Iran to end what the US calls state sponsorship of terrorism.

The letter is being considered by the new secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, as part of a sweeping review of US policy on Iran. A decision on sending it is not expected until the review is complete.

In an interview on Monday with the al-Arabiya television network, Obama hinted at a more friendly approach towards the Islamic Republic.

Ahmadinejad said yesterday that he was waiting patiently to see what the Obama administration would come up with. "We will listen to the statements closely, we will carefully study their actions, and, if there are real changes, we will welcome it," he said.

Ahmadinejad, who confirmed that he would stand for election again in June, said it was unclear whether the Obama administration was intent on just a shift in tactics or was seeking fundamental change. He called on Washington to apologise for its actions against Iran over the past 60 years, including US support for a 1953 coup that ousted the democratically elected government, and the US shooting down of an Iranian passenger plane in 1988.

Will Obama give in to Ahmadinejad's demand that we apologize? If we are going to go as far as guaranteeing their legitimacy, why not? Bill Clinton toured the world his second term apologizing for America's past behavior to anyone who was ever even slightly offended (or pretended to be) at US actions over the years. Given the critique by Obama of our Iran policy during the campaign, I certainly wouldn't put it past Obama to grovel before the Persians.

There may be some political gamesmanship at work here as Allah points out at Hot Air:

In fairness, there may be an ulterior motive to this: Ahmadinejad’s up for reelection in June and Khatami, the “moderate” who preceded him in office, is evidently planning to challenge him. By showing a conciliatory face now, The One may be trying to swing Khamenei towards backing Khatami and the reformists and leaving Ahmadinejad and the hardliners out in the cold. Although if Khamenei’s planning to dump the tiny terrorist for anyone, I’d guess it’s for his protege Larijani. He is high on Hopenchange, after all.

Good points and I would add that Larijani, who resigned as chief nuclear negotiator last year, has been slowly gathering support in the Guardian Council which could prove to be very significant. The Council chooses who gets to run for president and the Iranian Majlis. They can nix a candidate for the most specious of reasons - that they do not interpret the Koran correctly or commit some other religious faux pas. It is possible Larijani could out manuever Khatami, even to the point of having him denied access to the ballot.

Khamenei, who is reported to be in poor health, has no interest in making Obama look good but may see a lessening of tensions as a godsend for the Iranian nuclear program. The drive for ever more biting sanctions in the UN will be slowed if there is any kind of a rapproachment with the US. Russia and China, who have subsumed their own commercial interests in Iran to go along with the sanctions, will almost certainly reject any further efforts to punish Tehran for their nuclear program. There is even a possibility that the sanctions already in place will be lifted - at least there may be more of an effort to circumvent the sanctions.

This is a pretty bad idea in my view. Anything that legitimizes the Iranian regime condemns the Iranian people to further indignities under the rule of the religious crazies who still beat women in the streets for not covering themselves and jail anyone who breathes opposition to them. And any idea that improving relations with Iran will keep Hezb'allah, Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and any number of terrorists groups at bay is wishful thinking.

Seems to be a lot of that at the White House since Obama took over.