May 31, 2007
Iran and the United States are talking for the first time in almost 30 years. Some may think this a good thing. I’m not so sure.
If Iran agrees to stop sending insurgents into Iraq, fine. But I doubt they will unless they feel the heat of economic pressure.
President Ahmadinejad is a religious fanatic who sees himself as god’s tool to usher in the Islamic messiah. What American diplomat can negotiate with that twisted view? Since extremist Islam believes we are all the tools of Satan and their god wants us dead, where is the wiggle room in that?
Iran is said to have a large population of young people who are favorably disposed towards the west and especially the united states and who don’t like Ahmadinejad. Let’s test that theory. If the Iranians won’t cooperate – and I’m betting they won’t – can we turn up the economic heat through the UN and what remains of our allies? Iran is a huge oil exporter, but it has no refinery capacity and so it must import refined oil for its own energy use. Can we slow it down, undermining the regime? It’s worth the effort, but I’ll be surprised if anything good comes out of talks, alone.
Cal Thomas is a nationally syndicated columnist based in Washington, D.C.