Thankfully, Barack Obama has officially broken one of his most dangerous campaign promises: to hold direct talks with Iran, without preconditions. The Associated Press tries hard to cast an administration statement as Obamaesque “change,” but can’t:
President Barack Obama’s administration will engage in “direct diplomacy” with Iran, the newly installed U.S. ambassador to the United Nations said Monday.
Not since before the 1979 Iranian revolution are U.S. officials believed to have conducted wide-ranging direct diplomacy with Iranian officials. But U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice warned that Iran must meet U.N. Security Council demands to suspend uranium enrichment before any talks on its nuclear program.
Susan Rice is not the first American official to offer direct talks with Iran in exchange for the suspension of uranium enrichment. In fact, she’s not even the first person named Rice to make the offer. This is from a February 25, 2007 AP report:
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said the U.S. would hold direct talks with Iran if Tehran suspended its nuclear program. Iran’s president, however, pledged to move ahead with enrichment activity that Washington contends masks weapons development.
“I am prepared to meet my counterpart or an Iranian representative at any time if Iran will suspend its enrichment and reprocessing activities. That should be a clear signal,” Rice said in Washington.
And the Bush policy stands. No complaints from this quarter.