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Timing — Why Now?
On-line Opinion Magazine…OK, it's a blog
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Farideh Farhi at Informed Comment Global Affairs listened to the Shrubbery’s presser and wonders: What is George Bush Smoking?

It was also during the Khatami presidency, in 2003 and beyond, that the Bush Administration reportedly ignored Iran’s offer of a deal and continuously complained about the European track to negotiate with Iran. In fact, as late as spring and summer of 2005, until the last days of Khatami’s presidency, the Bush Administration refused to allow the Europeans to entertain any scenario that would permit Iran to contemplate engagement in any enrichment-related activity even in the future.

As I discuss here in 2005, it was this intransigence that ultimately led Iran to bring its uranium conversion plant in Isfahan out of suspension during the last days of the Khatami Administration.

I continue to believe that this intransigence was also very instrumental in pushing aside the more conciliatory foreign policy that was practiced during the Khatami era and opened the path for the hard-line argument that no concession will satisfy the United States. The United States only understands the language of power and not dialogue, it was and is continued to be said.

Ahmadinejad was elected in part because the Khatami attempts to negotiate with the US failed. The US refused to negotiate with Iran and they went to uranium enrichment. The US refused to negotiate with North Korea and they built a nuclear weapon. When you go around threatening people, refusing to talk or negotiate, and calling them the “axis of evil,” they are not going to react well. When you start invading countries for no reason, the rest of the world will get defensive.

Kevin Drum opines in the post, Iran and the NPT: “…It’s worth remembering that just because the Bush administration has pursued an indefensible policy regarding Iran doesn’t automatically make Iran a sympathetic figure in all this. They have plenty to answer for too.”

What does Iran have to answer for? Believing the US and starting a nuclear power program? Believing in peak oil, and planning for the future? Believing they need to do something about the pollution in Tehran? Having to go to Dr. Khan when the US blocked the delivery of equipment Iran had already paid for? Unlike Israel, Pakistan, and India, Iran is in compliance with and is a signatory to the NPT, as has been certified by the IAEA. The US administration is the problem.