Analysts and recent events suggest that now may be a good time for the White House to start referring to President Mahmud Ahmadinejad as the elected leader of Iran. In fact, White House spokesperson Robert Gibbs did just that on Wednesday before quickly retracting the remarks under alleged political pressure.
Such contradictions from the Barack Obama administration are symptomatic of larger problems within its Iran policy. These disconnects have been characterized by half-steps and abortedinitiatives. Experts now believe the Obama administration must soon get its act together on Iran to avoid repeating the failures of the five preceding US administrations.
With three American backpackers now in Iranian custody for allegedly illegally crossing over the border from Iraqi Kurdistan, this may be a fortuitous time to break the decades-long diplomatic standoff. There are inevitable comparisons between their situation and that of two American journalists held by North Korea in March but released this week after a surprise visit by former US president Bill .
Some US pundits have loudly pondered if Clinton could pull off a similar breakthrough with Tehran.
Gibbs’ fleeting acknowledgement of Ahmadinejad’s