Obama offers Iran a "new day' in video address

It's all atmospherics at this point. Expect the mullahs to smile a little and then go into a tirade about how evil American has been to Iran.

But hey! As long as we're talking at each other, we're not shooting each other, right? Well...at least we're not shooting at them. Their support for terrorists means they don't exactly share the same sentiment:

Invoking art, history and “the common humanity that binds us,” President Obama offered a “new day” in America’s relationship with Iran, using a videotaped message to make an unusual appeal directly to Iranians for a shift away from decades of confrontation.

But he warned Iran’s leaders that their access to what he called Iran’s “rightful place in the community of nations” would not be advanced by threats or by “terror or arms, but rather through peaceful actions.”

The president’s message was released with Farsi subtitles to some broadcasters in the Middle East on the day the Nowruz spring holiday is celebrated in Iran. It comes almost 30 years after the United States broke off diplomatic relations with Iran when militant students empowered by the Iranian revolution took over the American Embassy in Tehran, holding more than 50 people hostage for 444 days.

The message echoed sentiments in Mr. Obama’s first televised interview from the White House in January, in which he hinted at a new openness toward Iran.

That message seemed far more explicit in the television broadcast, in which the president urged Iran to discuss “in mutual respect” the gamut of issues that has cast Iran and the United States on opposite sides of a gulf splitting the region. They include Iran’s nuclear ambitions, its attitude toward Israel and what the United States considers Tehran’s support for elements of the insurgency in Iraq.

I don't think Ahmadinejad or Khamenei are dumb enough to throw his words back in his face and reject his overture out of hand - despite their desire to do just that. More likely, they will make nice (sort of) and lull the American and European left into somnolence even further thus assuring them their goal of having the capability of constructing a nuclear weapon.

As for the insurgency in Iraq, Iran has every reason to sit back and wait until most of our troops are withdrawn and then get busy. They have absolutely no reason not to try and destabilize or even seek to influence the Iraqi government given the threat of attack from America has lessened so much. I would expect a major effort to infiltrate the government - especially in the interior ministry - as Iraq struggles to build a stable society.

The illusion of progress will be enough to satisfy our rookie president. Expect Iran to wait until after the presidential election next summer before putting the screws to US interests across the region.

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