Symbolic gestures suggest the U.S. will get softer on Iran – but this may only last until June.
Not the whole truth (via Steadyjohn, Flickr)
The Obama-administration could not be cosier with Tehran: In his inaugural speech, the President underlined his willingness to talk to former enemies, his aides have repeated his offer ever since as Mr. Obama addressed the Iranian people. Today, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton joyfully pointed to common interests of the US and Iran in Afghanistan (like stopping the drug trade)
Iran has reacted coolly, condemning the troop surge in Afghanistan and reviving the memory of American “crimes” in the Middle East. Still, it has to admit internally that the American charme-offensive has put it under pressure to be more open to the West –though its nuclear ambitions are non-negotiable for Tehran and the people of Iran.
Things could get better if somebody else than Mahmoud Ahmadinejad wins the presidential election in June, though a nasty turn of events is likely if Iran resists the international call for opening up its nuclear plans. If the open approach fails, Mr. Obama’s embrace could turn into a chokehole on Tehran as the US could somewhat justified claim it had tried everything and switch to increasing international sanctions or even a military intervention (by Israel as a proxy), a step Israel’s new prime minister would surely not want to rule out.
Mr. Obama’s approach might sound reasonable to the West, but its success and appreciations by Iran’s leaders and people is less than certain – after all, the Middle East is offers some of the most unreasonable political situations around the globe.