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Sending a Toothless Lion Into the Cage

Last week, we defended the US offer to Iran of nuclear talks, suggesting that they were 'widely misunderstood'. However, if the Russian Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov, is correct - that the agreement reached, including the US offer of talks, explicitly removes the se of force from the table - this adds a dimension of negotiating from a position of weakness that is dumbfounding and self-defeating.

If the US proposal included was attached to a prohibition of the use of force as reported, the defense will be promptly withdrawn.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said possible military intervention against Iran was forbidden according to the agreement signed in Vienna last week.

Making a statement to Nezavisimaya newspaper, Lavrov said they reached a consensus during the meeting, to which foreign ministers of important countries in the world participated, on going to Iran with serious suggestions in Vienna.

This is not to say that we advocate the use of force, but to remove it completely as an option emboldens and empowers the Iranian regime in its quest for nuclear weapons. It is voluntarily negotiating from a position of weakness.

Let us not lose sight of the fact that we are negotiating with the world's foremost State Sponsor of Terrorism in the midst of a Global War on Terror.

And we guarantee the Hornet's Nest safe haven?

A degree of nuance is understandable and necessary. It appears now, however, that State (and the Administration) may be once again lost in nuance and forsaken all clarity.

This is not troubling. It is disturbing.