During his two years on the campaign trail and first two months in the White House, President Barack Obama has repeatedly called for initiating talks with Iran, thereby reversing Washington’s three-decades-old policy of boycotting Tehran. Throughout, Obama’s principle has been that we don’t achieve anything by not talking to our enemies – a philosophy that has always seemed more apt for the schoolyard than for foreign affairs. In turn, Obama has failed to address the more important question as far as diplomacy is concerned: what will we gain from speaking with Iran?
Well, apparently Iran has some ideas on this matter. Back in late January, Iranian government spokesman Gholam Hossein Elham argued that U.S.-Iranian engagement would indicate that “Western ideology has become passive, that capitalist thought and the system of domination have failed.” Yesterday, Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah – an Iranian proxy – echoed Elham, declaring:
The United States is ready now to talk with any party, not out of a sense of morality, but because it failed in its attempts to implement its plans in the region. It failed in its plan to conduct regime change in Syria and it failed in stopping Iran.
In short, from the moment Air Force One departs from Andrews Air Force Base to wherever these talks between Obama and Iranian leaders are held, Iran – and its millions of anti-western sympathizers throughout the Middle East – will see a weakened America. This is hardly the position from which a U.S. President convinces a radical, regionally ascendant regime to abort its nuclear program.