Recently, Obama was quoted as saying “contrary to the claims of some, I have no interest in sitting down with our adversaries just for the sake of talking. But as President of the United States, I would be willing to lead tough and principled diplomacy with the appropriate Iranian leaders at a time and place of my choosing if and only if it can advance the interest of the United States. That is my position. I want to be absolutely clear”. That statement clearly does not agree with what he said during the CNN/Youtube debate:
Question – Would you be willing to meet separately, without precondition, during the first year of your administration with the leaders of Iran, Syria, Venezuela, Cuba and North Korea?
Reply – “I would. And the reason is this: the notion that somehow not talking to countries is punishment to them – which has been the guiding diplomatic principle of this administration – is ridiculous. Ronald Reagan constantly spoke to the Soviet Union at a time when he called them an evil empire. He understood that we may not trust them and they may pose an extraordinary danger to this country, but we had the obligation to find areas where we can potentially move forward. And I think that it is a disgrace that we have not spoken to them”.
He was also quoted in May as saying “Iran, Cuba, Venezuela – these countries are tiny compared to the Soviet Union. They don’t pose a serious threat to us the way the Soviet Union posed a threat to us. And yet, we were willing to talk to the Soviet Union at the time when they were saying, ‘We’re going to wipe you off of the planet.'” “The Soviet Union had thousands of nuclear weapons, and Iran doesn’t have one.”
It seems as though Obama’s stance on negotiations with Iran have changed due to what he feels are the desires of the country. He now touts a “tough and principled diplomacy” compared to ‘’we had the obligation to find areas where we can potentially move forward..”
How can you negotiate with terrorists? His belief that Iran has no nuclear weapons is both naive and dangerous.
We also must remember that Iran has the second largest oil reserve in the world. However, since the regime headed by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has taken over, the production of petroleum has declined from 6 plus million barrels a day to under four million barrels a day. 85% of all of Iran’s revenues come from their oil and gas exports. Iran presently does not have either the technology or foreign investment it needs to sustain or increase its petroleum output. This causes vulnerability that creates isolation from the rest of the world and minimal economic growth. The Iranian people support the nuclear quests of the present regime, but are not willing to pay the price of international isolation.
If Obama were to try to negotiate with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, it would send the message to the Iranian population that they are part of the international mix and must be dealt with accordingly. Such a message would add power to the present regime…not topple it.
It is also important to remember that Iran’s present regime wishes to destroy both the United States and Israel. You cannot be “pro Israel” without prohibiting Iran from becoming a nuclear powerhouse. That alone would give Iran the support it needs from other “rogue” forces that also wish to destroy the United States.