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Iran, Negotiations and Sanctions: A History Lesson

That I count Michael Ledeen among trusted friends is an honor. Once again I am reminded why. Take the time to read his succinct history lesson in Tuesday's Wall Street Journal, We've Been Talking to Iran for 30 Years.

You may not be aware of this particular bit regarding our intransigent warmongering unilateralist cowboy forty-third president's efforts.

Most recently, the administration of George W. Bush--invariably and falsely described as being totally unwilling to talk to the mullahs--negotiated extensively with Tehran. There were scores of publicly reported meetings, and at least one very secret series of negotiations. These negotiations have rarely been described in the American press, even though they are the subject of a BBC documentary titled "Iran and the West." At the urging of British Foreign Minister Jack Straw, the U.S. negotiated extensively with Ali Larijani, then-secretary of Iran's National Security Council. By September 2006, an agreement had seemingly been reached. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Nicholas Burns, her top Middle East aide, flew to New York to await the promised arrival of an Iranian delegation, for whom some 300 visas had been issued over the preceding weekend. Mr. Larijani was supposed to announce the suspension of Iranian nuclear enrichment. In exchange, we would lift sanctions. But Mr. Larijani and his delegation never arrived, as the BBC documentary reported.

But do read it all, please. And challenge your adversaries in debate to look you in the eye and answer Michael's concluding graph.

Thirty years of negotiations and sanctions have failed to end the Iranian nuclear program and its war against the West. Why should anyone think they will work now? A change in Iran requires a change in government. Common sense and moral vision suggest we should support the courageous opposition movement, whose leaders have promised to end support for terrorism and provide total transparency regarding the nuclear program.

The three part BBC documentary, Iran and the West, can be seen below.

Part three references (all by its lonesome) the deal President George W. Bush thought he just might have struck. But alas, the theocratic and messianic Iranian regime simply does not want a deal. They want nukes.

The end.

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