According to a recent article in the Slate magazine:
President Obama would be crazy not to seize the opportunity that Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has given him.
This is just one recommendation, among many that I am hearing these days to president Obama.
Excuse me, but has Obama ever said that he is not willing to negotiate directly with Iran?
In fact the exact opposite: it has been Iran who has been saying no to bilateral talks since the end of 2009.
And lets not forget that all Obama got in return for offer of direct negotiations and an offer to transfer and convert 75% of Iran’s LEU was Fordo. Instead of reaching out to his overtures, Khamenei was secretly building an enrichment site at Fordo which he did not declare on time to the IAEA as he was supposed to.
So when we talk about sanctions, lets remember that Obama has tried time and again. It has been the Iranian supreme leader who has refused to negotiate.
Obama has even sent a letter to Rouhani. He initiated contact with Iran’s new president soon after his election, and not the other way around.
So yes, both sides should talk. But if its anyone who would be “crazy” not to seize the opportunity is Iran’s supreme leader. And he is not crazy. The sanctions are hurting and the regime economy is his red line.
Prognosis: better than anytime since late 2009.