Nobody owning up to US-Iran talks story

posted at 2:31 pm on October 21, 2012 by Jazz Shaw

If you’re one of the people who tend to spend their Saturday nights hanging out at Hot Air, (and let’s face it… why wouldn’t you?) you already know that we raised a few questions about a New York Times story claiming that Iran had agreed to some unilateral nuclear talks with the United States. That story in the Paper of Record still doesn’t appear to contain any updates or corrections, but the response from both sides of the world has been the same. Nobody is willing to back up their reporting.

First up, Iran.

“We don’t have any discussions or negotiations with America,” Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi said in a news conference on Sunday. “The (nuclear) talks are ongoing with the P5+1 group of nations. Other than that, we have no discussions with the United States.”

The White House, for once, seemed to be on the same page with somebody else. (Even if it was Iran.)

The Obama administration has moved quickly to water down a report that the US and Iran have agreed in principle to meet one-on-one for negotiations on Iran’s nuclear programme…

However the National Security Council spokesman Tommy Vietor said in response that the United States would continue to work with fellow permanent members of the UN security council and Germany.

“It’s not true that the United States and Iran have agreed to one-on-one talks or any meeting after the American elections,” the statement said.

So what happened? There seem to be a few possibilities for us to bat around while we watch football today. (And even though Ed didn’t take sides on it, I’m not holding out much hope for the Jets today, sorry.)

Theory 1: The story is true, but the actors on both sides don’t want to jinx it by bringing it out in public until the plan ripens a bit, so they’re denying it for now. (Yeah, yeah… I know. But we’re trying to cover the full spectrum here.)

Theory 2: The story is garbage, but the New York Times was misled by an Iranian activist trying to kick-start the process.

Theory 3: The story is garbage, but the New York Times was misled by an Obama administration official who wanted to plant a seed to make it look like the President’s foreign policy platform isn’t a complete shambles right before the foreign policy debate.

Theory 4: The story is utter, complete, and journalistic libelous garbage created out of whole cloth by the New York Times in an effort to make the President look more effective on foreign policy.

None of these theories look very pretty, and I’m open to others that I haven’t thought of yet. Either way, barring somebody coming forward to give up the goods, we’re left to speculate. And speculate we shall! Ready? Go.


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Theory 3 IMO

gophergirl on October 21, 2012 at 2:33 PM

Must be another one of those recalibrations we’re hearing so much about. I believe the term used to be called “lying”.

Philly on October 21, 2012 at 2:33 PM

my bet is on Axelrod.

ctmom on October 21, 2012 at 2:33 PM

Sounds like something that deranged nutjob, Stephanie Cutter would come up with.

BettyRuth on October 21, 2012 at 2:34 PM

I’ll also take #3. It has Axelrod’s prints all over it.

n0doz on October 21, 2012 at 2:38 PM

I would go with Theory 4, because it carries the distinctive whiff of Chicago politics.

pilamaye on October 21, 2012 at 2:38 PM

3 or 4

Resist We Much on October 21, 2012 at 2:38 PM

I’m going with a combination of 3 and 4.

VegasRick on October 21, 2012 at 2:38 PM

I’m going with a combination of 3 and 4.

VegasRick on October 21, 2012 at 2:38 PM

Composite 3.5.

VegasRick on October 21, 2012 at 2:39 PM

Perhaps it was created by a manatee in the south park studios?

redshirt on October 21, 2012 at 2:39 PM

I am going with #3 as I don’t believe the MSM would float this without a nod from the WH.

More talking so Iran can continue to stall for time as they ramp up their nuclear ambitions.

CoffeeLover on October 21, 2012 at 2:42 PM

Theory 5; Israel fed the NYT the info to switch the conversation from Libya/Egypt to Iran.

Flange on October 21, 2012 at 2:42 PM

Nobody owning up to US-Iran talks story

Another metaphor for this administration.

locomotivebreath1901 on October 21, 2012 at 2:43 PM

I think the whole story is made up, either by a Times reporter alone or someone in the campaign ‘leaked’ the story in some vain, ill-conceived hope Obama might score a point of two.

It’s pretty lame. Unless we have been in negotiations for years, even in secret, the only thing that might work for O is a ‘breakthrough’ is imminent. But that would leave me and others wondering what concessions Obama might have made to achieve something so big.

Dumb, pointless, untrue, and utterly useless. Typical Obama/allies to the campaign announcement.

Liam on October 21, 2012 at 2:43 PM

Variation of 1/3:

Trial balloon by WH to gauge reaction. NYT dutifully prints it.

Iran is spooked as it had no intentions of doing anything unless Obama is re-elected, and didn’t expect WH to blab.

Immediate reaction is disgust so WH denies.

INC on October 21, 2012 at 2:43 PM

Going with 4 on the basis of an anonymous source inside the NY Times that is high up and very reliable.

cobrakai99 on October 21, 2012 at 2:44 PM

Three.

John the Libertarian on October 21, 2012 at 2:46 PM

Leadership…

… or Binders, or something.

Seven Percent Solution on October 21, 2012 at 2:47 PM

Theory 5; Israel fed the NYT the info to switch the conversation from Libya/Egypt to Iran.

Flange on October 21, 2012 at 2:42 PM

Israel doesn’t have to do much at this point, with another civil war breaking out in Lebanon and Iran pulling resources from Syria, why would they trust Hussein with “negotiations” he has already screwed up countless times.

Either Axelrod or NYT, or rather both, trying to give The Idiot another lie to tell USA tomorrow night.

riddick on October 21, 2012 at 2:47 PM

Going with 4 on the basis of an anonymous source inside the NY Times that is high up and very reliable.

cobrakai99 on October 21, 2012 at 2:44 PM

Janitor crew on 15th Floor?

riddick on October 21, 2012 at 2:48 PM

If there is any truth to the story then:
Iranian nukes=football
Iran=Lucy
Obama=Charlie Brown

redshirt on October 21, 2012 at 2:50 PM

Theory 5; Israel fed the NYT the info to switch the conversation from Libya/Egypt to Iran.

Flange on October 21, 2012 at 2:42 PM

A poll last week in Egypt shows a more favorable lean toward Iran and desire for nuclear weapons. If Israel were involved, I could see them using that story to make hay instead of the one currently in the Times; it would further show how badly Obama has thwarted American interests in the region.

Liam on October 21, 2012 at 2:51 PM

Israel: http://themetapicture.com/i-am-to-blame/

davidk on October 21, 2012 at 2:53 PM

3 + 4 / 2 = 3.5

nitzsche on October 21, 2012 at 2:54 PM

Theory 3 sounds plausible, but following Occam’s Razor I’ll go with Theory 4.

mpthompson on October 21, 2012 at 2:54 PM

Yup, #3: It was a trial balloon. Since it’s now flying around the room going “FBBTBTBTPTPPRRRP”, no one wants to take “credit” for it.

Fabozz on October 21, 2012 at 2:55 PM

riddick on October 21, 2012 at 2:47 PM

I was thinking that any conversation about Iran is better than Libya from Israel’s perspective. Simply saying talks are being set up is not any great win for obozo. If he could waive around some agreement before the election then that might help him. This story doesn’t hurt or help this administration, but it does bring Iran back into the conversation before the debate Monday. Just speculating and trying out other theories. I wouldn’t blame Israel if they did do it.

Flange on October 21, 2012 at 2:58 PM

I know what happened!

Theory 6:

The Obama Administration thought they were talking to Iran, but now know they were not…

publius75 on October 21, 2012 at 2:58 PM

Theory 3+4 aren’t incompatible, and both speak to what this is about.

After Crowley and Obama collaborated last-time around on Benghazi, you better believe everyone is doubling down on some kind of a setup on Iran for Romney.

What better way to forestall O’s incompetence on Iran by having a hard-to-refute breathless story about nothing on Iran on the eve of the debate?

Its not incompatible for the collaboration to extend both to the foreign policy debate and to boosting Obama in general on foreign policy ahead of the deabte.

But there is little doubt in my mind this is all optics about the debate and election.

What embarrassing garbage by the administration and NY Times.

PrincetonAl on October 21, 2012 at 3:00 PM

I heard this scenario being floated around by Reza Kahlili a few days before it “broke” on the NY Times. So, theory 2 sounds just as plausible as theory 3.

vcferlita on October 21, 2012 at 3:01 PM

There is always the ‘Bigbird’ theory; Romney sent Elmo to Tehran as a ticklish gesture of goodwill for the new administration, but he was kidnapped by terrorist sympathizers ‘Bert’ and ‘Ernie’. The Cookie Monster, acting as an undercover NYT reporter, discovered the kidnapping and divulged the plot to the editors. The NYT editors, having their journalistic integrity on line, had to report something which would both protect the Cookie Monster, and their secret alliance with Romney.

There….

percysunshine on October 21, 2012 at 3:01 PM

3.5 it is.

D-fusit on October 21, 2012 at 3:02 PM

It was a movie trailer on Youtube that incited this rumor.

John the Libertarian on October 21, 2012 at 3:03 PM

How about calling it for what it is…….

The United States of America, under the rat-eared wonder does not have a policy vis-a-vis Iran. Theory one suggests the greatest appeasement since Chamberlin. The others suggest outright lies in the media for domestic partisan purposes. America deserves better from our government and media.

Happy Nomad on October 21, 2012 at 3:05 PM

Door #3 Monty

Before debate to make the o look good

cmsinaz on October 21, 2012 at 3:06 PM

Jazz, I’ll take Door #3! Sounds like something Valarie Jarrett would come up with.

GarandFan on October 21, 2012 at 3:08 PM

libelous??? really, Jazz?

Dante on October 21, 2012 at 3:09 PM

Well, its worth pointing out that this story matched a theory Dick Morris put out a few weeks ago “EXACTLY.” Now, Dick Morris is a fairly famous guy, relatively speaking, but I rather doubt he has much of a following in Iran. So, if somebody picked up his theory and ran with it, it was probably an individual within the United States, which narrows it down considerably.

My guess would be, just sloppy reporting on The New York Times, part. They probably saw Dick Morris’article re-posted, quoted, or cited by SOMEBODY and took it as a scoop rather than speculation.

I mean, its tempting to think somebody was trying to help Obama, but any competent operator has to know that any such leaks would be corrected immediately and potentially make the administration look sloppy. So, its either incompetent electioneering or incompetent journalism. Seeing as its the New York Times, I’ll assume incompetent journalism.

WolvenOne on October 21, 2012 at 3:09 PM

Israel: http://themetapicture.com/i-am-to-blame/

davidk on October 21, 2012 at 2:53 PM

In response to the Palosimian with the sign.

1) It wasn’t “YOUR” water
2) They weren’t “YOUR” Olive Tree’s
3) It wasn’t “YOUR” house
4) It wasn’t “YOUR” land
5) Your Father was a damned terrorist
6) Your Mother was a Munitions Factory
7) It Wasn’t “YOUR” country
8) Nobody starved you
9) You humiliated yourselves

You are a damned terrorists trying to hold on to something that your grandfather murdered people to steal.

SWalker on October 21, 2012 at 3:10 PM

I think it works:
1- Obama likes to engage, to talk and plan stunning successes; it fits his style, his world view and feeds his ego.
2- The Iranians (the Iranian administration) like Obama enough (because in their view Obama is really ineffectual at worst, or a secret admirer at best) to see him reelected; and either way, they are always willing to talk about reducing sanctions, and biding time to avoid an Israeli strike.
3- This does help to postpone an Israeli strike which benefits both Ahmadinejad and Obama.
4- Obama looks foreign-policy savvy.
Obama gets to appear to keep his original promise to negotiate with Iran without preconditions.
5- The NYT gets the scoop and renewed respect, and get cred as a player.

The answer it is a trial balloon with immediate benefits to all parties, and no one loses.

flicker on October 21, 2012 at 3:10 PM

Theory #7, per Michael Leeden: US & Iran have always been “talking”

Secret talks between the two countries have been going on for decades, and I do not know of any American president from Jimmy Carter to the present who did not secretly pursue a deal with Tehran. (I participated in such talks in the mid-1980s during the Reagan administration.)

But ordinary diplomacy is now going to be held as The Whine rising above “ordinary politics.” Sort of like getting a gold star for “participation.”

rbj on October 21, 2012 at 3:11 PM

I choose #3 and #4. This BS was fed to the NYT by some Obama slime, as in #3. MYT editors recognized as baseless propaganda, but ran with it anyway, as in #4.

novaculus on October 21, 2012 at 3:12 PM

Ramirez is the best

Schadenfreude on October 21, 2012 at 3:13 PM

I

Smell

Fear

And

Desperation.

Tim_CA on October 21, 2012 at 3:16 PM

Let’s face it. This might be more journalistic malpractice on the part of the New Treason Times or it’s just another trial balloon by the Obama Regime, to see if the American people would react favorably to this stupid idea. The Obama campaign has no qualms in selling out a reporter. They have as much respect for them, as they do the rest of the “Knuckle Draggers” they believe the people of this country to be! The Obama Enemy media will continue to shill for their Messiah, no matter how many times he throws them under the bus! Repubs have to fight the media or get treated like they were in a fight with a muslim jihadi.If you don’t hit them hard, they will be emboldened & encouraged to hit you harder the next time. Just like the jihadi’s, the media will not stop until it hurts them more! Here’s how to make that happen: http://paratisiusa.blogspot.com/2012/09/an-open-letter-to-those-who-should-know.html?spref=tw

God Bless America!

paratisi on October 21, 2012 at 3:17 PM

Schadenfreude on October 21, 2012 at 3:13 PM

LMAO – Everytime I think he can’t possibly top himself….!

(Ramirez is a genius)

Tim_CA on October 21, 2012 at 3:22 PM

I also hear rumors Kim Kardashian marries for love.

flicker on October 21, 2012 at 3:25 PM

This is the real deal and Bob Schieffer has the transcript.

Curtiss on October 21, 2012 at 3:26 PM

Ramirez is the best

Schadenfreude on October 21, 2012 at 3:13 PM

Thanks, Schadenfreude/ Ramirez for the second hearty belly laugh of the day.

Too too funny.

Cleombrotus on October 21, 2012 at 3:31 PM

The story is sort of a nonstory. Iran has requested direct talks with the USA since 1998. It is the USA that has refused. This so called story depends on the fact that no one knows this. In fact it appears the ones who did not know this readily available fact are writers for the NYT.

pat on October 21, 2012 at 3:33 PM

Smells like de facto President Valerie Jarrett.

mimi1220 on October 21, 2012 at 3:34 PM

…we are sending Sandra Fluke as our emissary…I don’t see that anywhere!

KOOLAID2 on October 21, 2012 at 3:35 PM

#4 is the closest to the truth.

New York Times Caught Editing Iran Story After White House Denials

The New York Times claimed yesterday, two days before the presidential candidates’ foreign policy debate, that the White House had reached an agreement with the Iranian regime to pursue direct talks.

The story could have helped President Barack Obama make the case that he had made more progress with Iran than had previously been indicated. But the White House rushed to deny the story–and early this morning, the Daily Caller reports that the Times had changed it, but without indicating that changes had been made.
The DC’s Gregg Re writes:

When the New York Times updated its story late Saturday to reflect [National Security Council spokesman Tommy] Vietor’s statement, the paper made no mention of the update or any correction to the story, leaving readers with the impression that the White House’s denial had been in the story all along. In fact, the initial version of the story portrayed the development as a tentative victory for the Obama administration, which has recently been faced with foreign policy crises in the Middle East and Libya.
The new version of the Times’ story also removed this line about the threat of Iran’s nuclear ambitions: “Even with possible negotiations in the offing, there is no evidence Iran has slowed its fuel production.”

http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Journalism/2012/10/21/New-York-Times-Caught-Editing-Iran-Story-After-White-House-

NOT SO CLEVER EDITING BY THE NEW PUKE TIMES

Rovin on October 21, 2012 at 3:44 PM

Theory5: change the subject for Monday’s debate

Foreign policy is in shambles.

Romney should tell Obama to explain to the American people what he meant when he whispered to Medvedev an the mic was open.

Romney should not ask Obama any questions…tell, tell, tell.

Romney must wear a red tie.

Schadenfreude on October 21, 2012 at 3:47 PM

Big Bird put the story into a binder and leaked to the NYT but won’t admit it because he has Romnesia. He has retained Gloria Allred to speak on his behalf.

NeoDawg on October 21, 2012 at 3:49 PM

the iranians knew he was a caving anti-isreal socialist anti-american paper tiger and could we walked all over. now they know he is also duplicitous and incompetent. so now that pretty much makes it unanimous, except for the 47% of americans who will vote for him. but other than them, everybody knows exactly what the pantload is now, in all aspects. nice job on that legacy champ.

t8stlikchkn on October 21, 2012 at 3:57 PM

None of these theories look very pretty, and I’m open to others that I haven’t thought of yet.

Move the headlines off Benghazi, even if monetarily. The political calculus is such that a story like this will be grabbed onto and held tightly by a certain percentage of Obama’s base. The binder story is similar. Most liberals already want to believe these things so even after later White house denials they will still think its true and Obama is just be “smart” to not talk about it.

MikeA on October 21, 2012 at 3:58 PM

Valerie Jihad and this entire traitorous muslim-commie regime can go take a sharia in Mecca for all I care.

America gets the White House back on January 20, 2013!

Yephora on October 21, 2012 at 3:59 PM

***************** ALERT **********************

LIVE NOW

Police dealing with a Explosive Device at Shooting
site!!!
=======

Video: Shooting near Wis. mall
*******************************

http://www.breakingnews.com/

canopfor on October 21, 2012 at 4:01 PM

I see that in this post too you guys are talking about “unilateral talks”: what the hell is that??? Did you mean to write “bilateral talks”?

1215 on October 21, 2012 at 4:13 PM

Theory 4: The story is utter, complete, and journalistic libelous garbage created out of whole cloth by the New York Times in an effort to make the President look more effective on foreign policy.
===================================================================

I’m going with this scenario!!!

canopfor on October 21, 2012 at 4:13 PM

Story floated by Team Obama through Administration insider to NYT to get a different topic at the debate so Benghazi would not dominate it.

Dick Morris gets wind of it, pre-anounces it, making story crumble for lack of credibility causing WH denial.

This still leaves it as a topic that can come up at the debate, though less pressing and as a purely speculative one. And if whoever did this is outed, Team Obama ends up with major egg on its face as it was trying to distract from its FP failures by trying to get a positive topic in the debate… NYT just a willing mouthpiece in all of this, acting as Obama booster: a Democratic print organ with a few different by-lines to do CYA.

ajacksonian on October 21, 2012 at 4:26 PM

Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm……and DinnerJacketLand is
suggesting Little Satan,had sumpin to do with Beirut!!
———————————————————

Iran denies reports about agreement on direct talks with U.S.
On Line: 21 October 2012 17:47
In Print: Monday 22 October 2012
********************************

EHRAN – Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi has dismissed the news reports claiming that Iran has agreed to hold direct negotiations with the United States.

Salehi made the remarks in Tehran on Sunday during a joint press conference with Central African Republic Foreign Minister Antoine Gambi, in reply to a question about the fact that the New York Times, quoting unidentified U.S. administration officials, reported on Saturday that Iran and the U.S. had agreed in principle for the first time to one-on-one negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program after the U.S. presidential election, which is scheduled to be held on November 6.

The Iranian foreign minister said, “We are not responsible for responding to the news they publish, but there is no talk of negotiations with the United States.”

“We hold negotiations within the framework of the 5+1 group (talks),” he stated, referring to the negotiations between Iran and the 5+1 group (the five permanent members of the UN Security Council and Germany) over the country’s nuclear program.

Tommy Vietor, a White House spokesman, also dismissed the New York Times report on Saturday, saying, “It’s not true that the United States and Iran have agreed to one-on-one talks or any meeting after the American elections.”

However, the U.S. administration is open to such talks and has “said from the outset that we would be prepared to meet bilaterally,” Vietor added.

Israel carried out Beirut attack as a diversionary move
(More..)
=========

http://www.tehrantimes.com/politics/102608-iran-denies-reports-about-agreement-on-direct-talks-with-us

canopfor on October 21, 2012 at 4:35 PM

Theory #7: The NYT editors stumbled across a story that someone there had written four years ago – and forgot to check the date on it.

ss396 on October 21, 2012 at 4:35 PM

Theory 5: Whenever you hear any media outlet say the words “anonymous source,” that always means exactly the same thing as if they had said “my imaginary friend.”

Any fake story that serves the interest of one of the parties gets the old “we can’t confirm or deny” confirmation. Only a fake story that’s both fradulent AND stupid gets the double denial.

Bottom line (and this isn’t a theory, it’s a fact) the New York Times is desperate.

logis on October 21, 2012 at 4:36 PM

I must be missing something….why would this “help” Jug Ears? I thought “unilateral” was “bad”….least that’s what JE and the rest of the Dhimmicrats were bleating when W was in charge of Foreign Policy

SwabJockey on October 21, 2012 at 4:50 PM

Yup, #3: It was a trial balloon. Since it’s now flying around the room going “FBBTBTBTPTPPRRRP”, no one wants to take “credit” for it.

Fabozz on October 21, 2012 at 2:55 PM

LOL!!

Key West Reader on October 21, 2012 at 5:42 PM

Obviously, the White House is running the “leak” up the flag pole to see which way the wind is blowing.

Amjean on October 21, 2012 at 5:51 PM

Don’t see a lot of difference between 3 and 4.

3: Obama cronies lie to try to improve status for Zero before election.

4: Obama cronies lie to try to improve status for Zero before election.

IrishEyes on October 21, 2012 at 6:01 PM

3 or 4 works for me. Follows the pattern of the regime’s foreign policy so far. Is Shrillary back from Peru yet? Maybe she or Rice would like to get in on the fun.

Kissmygrits on October 21, 2012 at 6:12 PM

Number three.

Grace_is_sufficient on October 21, 2012 at 6:14 PM

Door #3.

Philly on October 21, 2012 at 7:45 PM

3 + 4 / 2 = 5
3 + 2 = 5
You meant:
(3+4)/2= 3.5

I can’t help it… Sorry.

Empiricist on October 21, 2012 at 8:59 PM

Trial balloon by WH to gauge reaction. NYT dutifully prints it.

Iran is spooked as it had no intentions of doing anything unless Obama is re-elected, and didn’t expect WH to blab.

Immediate reaction is disgust so WH denies.

INC on October 21, 2012 at 2:43 PM

Sounds about right.

The only part I would change is the part about Iran getting spooked. IIRC Iran has demanded direct one-to-one talks with the US for about a decade. GWB’s policy was they must first give up their nuke program before we would even consider it. Obama said during the 2008 campaign he was open to one-to-one talks before that.

So I doubt Iran would be spooked by getting what they have wanted for a long time.

It was/is a trial balloon floated by the Obama admin out of desperation, aided and abetted by the NYT, that bombed. So Team Obama is denying it, naturally.

farsighted on October 21, 2012 at 10:51 PM

October surprise
Neutralized

Jocundus on October 22, 2012 at 9:05 AM

My bet’s on Axelgrease with the nod of approval from Jug Ears.

jqc1970 on October 22, 2012 at 12:16 PM