On Iran, an Apostle of Patience
Washington Post / David Ignatius
26-Feb-2009 (4 comments)

If you ask White House officials whom President Obama listens to about Iran, they mention an interesting name -- Lee Hamilton, the former congressman from Indiana who co-chaired the 2006 Iraq Study Group that urged engagement with the Iranian regime. So I called Hamilton this week at the Woodrow Wilson International Center, where he serves as president, to ask for his thoughts about strategic dialogue with Tehran. He gave some interesting answers that match (not coincidentally, I suspect) what you hear from senior Obama administration officials. Though Hamilton wouldn't discuss his two meetings with the president since the inauguration, his private advice probably tracks what he told me on the record. Hamilton cautioned against expecting any quick breakthroughs. He recommended a patient process of engagement that would be analogous to long-term diplomacy with the Soviet Union. "Those of us who favor dialogue with the Iranians have to be clear that success will not come quickly," he said. "You'll have to have direct, sustained engagement over a long period of time."

News Goffer

no barack-mahmoud phone calls yet

by News Goffer on

The gist of what advice Lee Hamilton is giving Obama is summarized in a part of the article:  "The starting points for U.S.-Iran discussions, Hamilton said, would be to "state our respect for the Iranian people, renounce regime change as an instrument of U.S. policy, seek opportunities for a range of dialogue across a range of issues, and acknowledge Iran's security concerns and its right to civilian nuclear power." He said Obama has already signaled that he wants such a conversation, without preconditions. "



Get real

by Ostaad on

ditto. That's how realpolitik works. The rest is just a dog-and-pony show, which is called "public diplomacy". They might as well print these articles in the People's magazine and the TV Guide.


Iran disapproves U.S. special adviser on the Persian Gulf

by RTTNews (not verified) on

Iran disapproves U.S. special adviser on the Persian Gulf
RTTNews - World News
Feb 25, 2009

Iran disapproved the appointment of U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's special adviser on the Persian Gulf.

In a commentary broadcast Wednesday, Iranian state radio said that the choice of Ross signals no change in Washington's approach toward Tehran.

The U.S. State Department announced on Monday the appointment of Dennis Ross, a seasoned diplomat with experience in the Middle East, who is assigned to provide Clinton with assessments, strategic advice, and perspective on the region.

Iran accused Ross of being influenced by Israel and encouraging moves to spoil Iran's nuclear program.

Iran, which reacted positively to U.S. President Barack Obama's offer to open direct talks with it, said the country is currently disappointed over promised changes in U.S. foreign policy.

"The appointment of Ross will provide serious challenges in the Middle East for the U.S. administration," the state radio warned.


Oh please

by Get real (not verified) on

This is all for clueless public consumption.

Full fledged talks, dealing and wheelings have been gpoing on for quite some time but since the mere mention of it makes both sides quite uncomfortable vis-a-vis their constituents, they keep it under wraps.