Another Step Toward War

Hawks are going to say it's time to give up on negotiations


Another Step Toward War
by Robert Wright

The Moscow round of negotiations over Iran's nuclear program ended today without discernible progress, though diplomats kept hope alive by scheduling staff-level meetings between the two sides for next month.

If you're wondering what neoconservatives and other Republican hawks are going to say about this you have two choices: You can spend the next 24 hours combing their blog posts and columns, or you can just take my word for it: they're all going to say pretty much the same thing. They're going to say that this just shows there's no point in talking to Iran, so it's time to give up on negotiations.

In fact, one of them, Jennifer Rubin, got a head start and said that before this round of talks was even over:

Unless a minor miracles [sic] occurs this round of talks, like all that preceded it will end without tangible movement by Iran. Is it time to admit that neither talking or sanctions are going to shake the mullahs' determination to obtain nuclear weapons? At this point we should decline to engage in further meaningless talks.

(Reminder to Rubin's teammates: Always refer to Iran's leadership as "the mullahs" in the hope that readers will imagine bearded religious fanatics possessed by dreams of martyrdom. But never actually say "bearded religious fanatics possessed by dreams of martyrdom," as that would lack subtlety.)

Rubin needn't have worried that a "miracle" might occur and yield Iranian concessions, because President Obama had already adopted the recommendations of Rubin et. al. and refused to offer anything of significance in return for such concessions. It's a brilliant ploy: encourage the administration to adopt a bargaining position guaranteed to fail, then blame failure on Iran, after which you can check off the "tried diplomacy" box and proceed directly to "initiate regime change" (whether through war or just through the economic sanctions that, with each round of escalation, are increasingly comparable to war).

As a liberal, I wish I could say that this ploy was being practiced only by Republicans. Alas, it is also reflected in a letter sent to President Obama by 44 Senators, half of whom are Democrats. As Glenn Greenwald notes at Salon, the letter's "implication is clear: a military attack by the U.S. on Iran is at least justified, if not compelled, if a satisfactory agreement is not quickly reached." Yet "the letter itself virtually ensures no such agreement is possible" because it insists that the administration demand things of Iran that "everyone knows Iran will never agree to" in the absence of concessions that the letter forbids.

On the brighter side, I guess we should be grateful that in this age of partisan discord 22 Democratic Senators and 22 Republican Senators can agree on anything. My hat's off to whoever orchestrated this refreshing concord!

First published in

Robert Wright is a senior editor at The Atlantic and the author, most recently, of The Evolution of God, a New York Times bestseller and a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. Wright is also a fellow at the New America Foundation and editor in chief of



Iran nuclear diplomacy

by fereydoun on

The way I look at Iran versus 5+1 diplomacy on nuclear I can not figure out how diplomacy and meetings can help resolve the problem.On the Iranian side not a single politician radical or liberal trusts that west intends to befriend Iran by resolving the nuclear issue.On the Iranian side the belief is that the more they give the less they must recieve in return.Iranian's test on the nuclear talks stems from the nature of sanctions that the United States has so far imposed on Iran.Iran's political elite has come to the conclusion that the structure and nature of US embargo on Iran is now regime change against behaviour change back in early 2000.As such nuclear talks has nothing to do with normalizing relationship between Iran and west but just buying time to see how deeply sanctions work.Having said that I see no way that Iran abondone its nuclear card without a security guarantee from the US.

Arash Kamangir

Middle East cannot come to stability

by Arash Kamangir on

Middle East cannot find stability as long as IR is provoking in one way or another. One day in Lebanon/syria and nexy day in Iraq and day after that somewhere else. This cannot continue and people of Iran have had enough of IR and they welcome any military intervention.

Kooshan wish another war!

by Kooshan on

Syria is the battleground and War in there is highly unlikely!


IRR/IRI is embolden by Russia

by Azarbanoo on

IRANIANS Must know Russians after Arabs are our worse enemies.  IRAN has suffered from these two Arabs and Russis so much that it still continues.  Just think hard and look at History to remember things happened to us by these two monsters.


There are rumors that Nato

by vildemose on

There are rumors that Nato is soon going to attack Syria. Russia and China have sent troops and fighters jets to Syria..

If this is true we are in for some very rough times... 



All Oppression Creates a State of War--Simone De Beauvoir


Iranian people

by Raoul1955 on

Who live in Iran have suffered unduly for over 30 years because a LIBERAL President named Jimmy Carter tried to 'negotiate' with those Persian ayatollahs instead of using their embassy take over as a pretext to invade Iran and re-institute the pro-US monarchy, or putting in place a military regime that would have successfully killed thousand of islamic Iranians but would have saved millions of lives in the long run.

Iranians know that many liberals and lefties in the West are way too eager to take their side, so they use the negotiations card to the hilt...


The latest Russia and IRI

by vildemose on

The latest Russia and IRI alliance and their announcement of  joint military exercise will certainly expedite any future plans for war either by Israel or US against IRI.   The Congress will definitely push for much quicker action against Syria and Iran. This has become a proxy war between the US and Russia. Obama has to respond if he wants to get re-elected. 


All Oppression Creates a State of War--Simone De Beauvoir


so very true.....

by Bavafa on


'Hambastegi' is the main key to victory