The New York Times is reporting that the U.S. and Iran have agreed to one-on-one talks. Here are the opening paragraphs of the article.
The United States and Iran have agreed for the first time to one-on-one negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program, according to Obama administration officials, setting the stage for what could be a last-ditch diplomatic effort to avert a military strike on Iran.
Iranian officials have insisted that the talks wait until after the presidential election, a senior administration official said, telling their American counterparts that they want to know which American president they would be negotiating with.
The report also states that the White House is denying the reports. Given, the recent events in Libya and the political campaign it is difficult to believe anything from the White House. Only time or Gordon Duff will tell if an agreement has been made to hold the talks.
The timing of the report is quite interesting given the fact it came out on the Saturday before the Presidential debate on foreign policy. Another fact that makes the timing interesting is the recent poll results that indicate the Presidential race is to close to call.
The report could in fact be a successful resolution to efforts by President Obama to settle the Iranian nuclear issue. However, it could be a desperate move by either Iran or President Obama.
Iran may be making a last ditch effort to resolve the issue before the election. This makes sense if Iran believes Mitt Romney has a strong chance to win the election. They may be bargaining with President Obama in order to avoid having to deal with Mitt Romney and a Congress controlled by Republicans.
On the other hand, it could be a desperate bid by President Obama to have a foreign policy success to discuss in Monday's debate. I have no doubt that President Obama would win the debate if he could announce that he has brought Iran to the table for discussions. This would be especially true if the agreement was kept secret until President Obama could announce it at the debate.
Of course many will criticize President Obama regardless of the validity of the report. If it is true the President will be criticized for playing politics with nuclear weapons. If it is not true he will be criticized for not resolving the issue.
While I look forward to a peaceful resolution of the issue I wonder how much it will cost the U.S. if the reports of the agreement are true. In my opinion, President Obama would be more desperate to reach an agreement than Iran. How much would President Obama give to have a foreign policy success?