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Iran, Hamas And Non-Negotiable Points

The European Union has decided that it will not deal with Hamas because the group would not overtly renounce terrorism and recognize Israel's right to exist, two key Quartet requirements for normalization and the restoration of international financial assistance. In keeping with this stance, Hamas' Khaled Meshaal reiterated that Hamas ' policies won't change.

Hamas leader-in-exile Khaled Mashaal denied on Saturday that there had been any change in his organization's policies, and declared that Hamas would neither abandon "armed resistance" nor agree to give up an "inch of Palestinian land."

Though there have been some minor attempts at muddying the waters in hopes of winning the restoration of foreign cash, the Hamas position remains clear. And, consequently, the European Union will not be talking with Hamas members in the Palestinian government.

Yet just as Hamas' position remains firm, so too, then, remains the Iranian position: It's nuclear enrichment program is not negotiable.

Iran says it will not negotiate its inalienable nuclear rights but is ready to hold talks without preconditions on any ambiguities or concerns.

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Mohammad-Ali Hosseini in a press conference on Sunday said the West is adopting double standards towards the Iranian nuclear case, issuing resolutions on the one hand and calling for talks on the other.

Hosseini said Western demands for Iran to suspend uranium enrichment were in violation of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

"We will not do anything against the NPT and have repeatedly emphasized (the demand) is illogical," he stressed.

The headline means what the headline says: "Nuclear rights nonnegotiable." Do not confuse the above with an over-arching headline not supported by the actual quoted statements of Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesman Mohammad-Ali Hosseini. Press TV is an Iranian state-run outlet.

Iran has been engaged in talks virtually since its secret program was revealed in 2003. These talks have been primarily through the European Union. Iran has maintained throughout and - like Hamas - reaffirms today that there is zero shift. Enrichment is not on the table for negotiation. Eventually, the message will get through.

It hasn't yet, however, as the EU has once again restarted the process of talking the unspeakable and negotiating the non-negotiable. After the Security Council vote expanding Iran's sanctions was completed and the 15 British sailors and Marines were in Iranian hands, the head of the EU's Foreign Policy Javier Solana said, "We are committed to seeking a negotiated solution to the nuclear question."

But, consistent with virtually every Iranian statement on negotiating Iran's nuclear program yet, Hosseini has made it clear that any talks will serve little European purpose. It is difficult to weave nuance into the term 'non-negotiable.'

For Iran, talks are good. Any time it garners is good development time for the enrichment program.

Yet, the talk of talks continues. At least on the European side.

European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana discussed prospects for negotiations on Iran's nuclear program with Iranian negotiator Ali Larijani in a telephone call shortly before Iran freed 15 captured British navy personnel, an EU official said on Thursday. ... "The contents are confidential, but I can say they discussed the nuclear file and the possibility of getting back to negotiations," the official said, adding that contacts remained open and another telephone call was likely soon.

At the end of the day, the irony is rich. The European Union will not hold talks with any members of Hamas because they are on the EU's terrorist organizations list. Yet, the EU leadership seems ready to fall over themselves with eagerness to negotiate the non-negotiable with the Iranian state that funds the Hamas terrorists in the EU's own absence.

In America, we've squandered decades that should have been used to properly support the Iranian people in opposition to the mullah regime. Now we are left with a runaway state sponsor of international terrorism nearing nuclear weapons capability. And somehow, the only prospect that seems tenable to decision makers is a reliance upon European negotiations trying to bargain the non-negotiable...the same Europe that cannot bring itself to economically divest itself from a regime which would find nothing but joy in Europe's total collapse.

Perhaps if the Palestinians had oil. For then the European Union could talk to Hamas and forget about this silly terrorism nonsense.

2 Comments

Mr. Schippert...

Do I detect A tone of sarcasm?!

Good post, Steve. I think that at the root of the problem is that the Europeans simply don't feel threatened by Iranian nuclear weapons. There are probably several reasons for this.

One, they believe the the Iranians will go after Israel and/or the various Sunni states. They have adopted the belief that if we leave "them" alone they'll leave us alone.

Two, they figure that if it comes down to it Iran can be deterred by MAD. They're counting on the French and British to used nuclear weapons as a threat.

Three, they think it's all the fault of the US and Israel anyway so it's "they're problem"

The problem with the first two is that it assumes that the Khomeinists think like Europeans. It's the classic fallacy of mirror-image thinking. The problem with the third (and first) is that they underestimate the goals of the Khomeinists and what they'll do to achieve them. Walid Phares talks about this in "Future Jihad", about how the jihadists are willing to sacrifice their own people (who are going to heaven as martyrs anyway, so what's the problem?) to achieve geopolitical and religious objectives.