Obama advisor: U.S. not cooperating with Solana

July 2, 2008 - 0:0

TEHRAN – In an e-mail interview with the Mehr News Agency on Monday, Barack Obama’s nuclear policy advisor, Joseph Cirincione, said the next U.S. president should “engage Iran in a full and open dialogue without preconditions.”

Joseph Cirincione also said the U.S. is not “cooperating” with EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana in his dealings with Iran.
Following is an excerpt of the interview:
Mr. Solana is trying very hard to broker a deal with Iran, but he is lacking the one element he needs: cooperation from the United States. Iranian officials concluded several years ago that there was no point to negotiating with the Europeans if the United States was not a full partner to the negotiations. No amount of carrots can compensate for what Iran wants: a guarantee that the United States will not attack or attempt to overthrown the government of Iran.
President Bush has never decided what he wants more: an end to the Iranian enrichment and reprocessing programs or an end to the Iranian regime. His government is divided with hard-liners, including Vice President Dick Cheney, still pushing for an attack on Iran. They are supported by the neoconservative activists such as Bill Kristol, Charles Krauthammer and the American Enterprise Institute. Pragmatists in the administration, such as Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, are unable to convince the president (or perhaps don't believe themselves) that the U.S. must negotiate directly with Iran.
The Bush Doctrine has failed completely. The region is more unstable now than before George Bush became president; the United States is bogged down in an unnecessary war in Iraq and losing the essential war in Afghanistan; the dangers of nuclear terrorism have increased as Al Qaeda has flourished and programs to secure and eliminate nuclear weapons have languished.
The standard U.S. policy before President Bush has been to talk with our adversaries as well as our friends. Only in this administration has the principle been established that negotiations were a reward. The next president should consult closely with our allies and then engage Iran in a full and open dialogue without preconditions. The Europeans and most of our allies would welcome such a policy. This dialogue will be difficult and there is no guarantee of success. But without it, there is a guarantee of failure and conflict