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Smoke and Mirrors

I started at Laura Rozen’s place and followed her links and then came across it again at the BBC with the article, Europeans hail US offer to Iran:

On Wednesday, US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said “as soon as Iran fully and verifiably suspends its enrichment and reprocessing activities, the United States will come to the table”.

The move was to show US commitment to a diplomatic solution and “to enhance the prospects for success”, she said in a statement.

Ms Rice also urged Iran to “thoroughly consider” a package of currently being agreed by the US and EU nations aimed at persuading Tehran to abandon its nuclear plans.

Ms Rice recognised Iran’s right to a civilian nuclear programme, but condemned what she called Iran’s support for terror.

This is totally fraudulent. Kevin Drum notes it is right out of Diplomacy 101, if you don’t want to negotiate make an unacceptable precondition for talks.

Bobby notes that the only reason the US is making any offer is that the world doesn’t believe us anymore.

Predictably, Iran is cautious over US talks offer. The US is telling Iran to concede all of the points under contention before talks can begin. The whole point is to make it look like the US is being reasonable, when the US hasn’t changed its position at all.