The Obama Administration wants to negotiate with whomever emerges the winner in Iran’s tumultuous internal struggle. I frankly doubt anything good will come from such talks, but I certainly understand why confrontation makes the president flinch. The Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps may very well retaliate against Americans inside Iraq. Hezbollah in Lebanon could easily open a new front with Israel if its Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah feels his patron and armorer is under assault. Thousands would likely be killed in Iran alone. No decent person wants to see civilian casualties in Iran – especially now that these very same civilians are bravely facing down their own oppressive regime.
Confrontation of some kind, though, is looking more likely no matter what the administration may wish. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad declared in his “victory” speech over the weekend that he will never negotiate with anyone over his regime’s nuclear weapons. “That file is shut forever,” he said.
It takes two to negotiate, and not once since the 1979 revolution has the Iranian regime been willing to begin serious negotiations with the United States. The Obama Administration might want to consider a backup plan right about now.