Stanley's blog

Susan Rice, US Ambassador to the UN, has warned that Iran must meet U.N. Security Council demands to suspend uranium enrichment before any talks on its nuclear programme.

Hopefully, this continuation of the previous administration’s closing policy will not prevent the talks beginning. She told reporters that, “The dialogue and diplomacy must go hand in hand with a very firm message from the United States and the international community that Iran needs to meet its obligations as defined by the Security Council. And its continuing refusal to do so will only cause pressure to increase.”

This kind of approach could well encourage Iran to dig its toes in. Since when does the US meet all its obligations as defined by the Security Council? It also requires an unnecessary loss of face by the Iranian leaders.

Negotiations should open unconditionally and then both sides make goodwill gestures, the Iranians unilaterally deciding to suspend uranium enrichment.

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  1. As long as Western countries do not undersand that Eastern culture is much prouder, more rebellious and unbending – the kind of temper that will only oppose more if it is challenged or feels in any way some kind of will for domination from the party in front of them – progress in relationships will remain very unlikely. Easterners may turn out to be surprisingly “submissive” if they feel that their will is respected.

    I would have expected more and better inspiration from someone like Obama who spent part of his childhood in an Eastern country, and therefore should have been expected to have a broader perspective on this issue, and not the usual Western domineering narrow-mindedness (“you submit or else…!”). I know it is about Susan Rice here, but after all wasn’t she one of his closest co-workers in the transition team?

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