Kerry: US ready to hold bilateral talks with Iran over nuclear standoff

posted at 10:01 am on February 27, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

This may not be as meaningful as it sounds.  Secretary of State John Kerry could have meant that the US was ready to hold bilateral talks with Irazakhstan.  Just kidding — Kerry meant Iran, and intended to dangle the possibility after this week’s P-5+1 talks with Tehran’s representative on the nuclear question. The renewed offer of direct talks with Iran resulted from a burst of optimism from Saeed Jalili, who offered rare praise for an offer of resolution and a commitment to continuing the talks:

World powers and Iran ended two days of talks over the Islamic Republic’s disputed nuclear program with a pledge to hold further discussions starting next month.

Iran’s negotiator, Saeed Jalili, called the two-day session in Almaty, Kazakhstan a “turning point” and said a “more realistic and logical” proposal was made to Iran. He didn’t give details. Technical talks will be held in Istanbul on March 18, and political discussions with the so-called P5+1 — the U.S., U.K., FranceGermanyChina and Russia – will resume in Almaty on April 5, Jalili told reporters. …

Jalili reiterated that Iran has the right to enrichment under an international treaty it signed. He said there was no justification for seeking the shutdown of Iran’s Fordo plant, which was built clandestinely in the side of a mountain and produces most of the country’s medium-enriched uranium, since it’s under inspection by the United Nations nuclear watchdog.

Ashton declined to say whether the P5+1 has dropped its earlier demand for the closing of Fordo.

According to Bloomberg, the EU’s representative stated that the group had offered a “balanced” proposal that was “responsive” to Iranian demands.  And while Tehran mulls over that proposal, Kerry dangled a carrot — or at least what he hopes is a carrot:

Secretary of State John Kerry said on Wednesday that two days of nuclear talks between Iran and world powers had been useful and said a serious engagement by Iran could lead to a longer-term, comprehensive agreement.

Kerry, who was in Paris meeting the French president and his counterpart Laurent Fabius during a tour of Europe, repeated that Washington was ready to hold bilateral talks with Iran.

That’s not a new offer, but it’s an important gesture … if Iran is serious about dealing on nuclear weapons.  The US drives what sanction policy actually takes place in the world, and we hold a lot of financial and trade cards.  Iran’s economy is sinking like a stone, and its currency is in meltdown thanks to trade sanctions.  The situation might end up sparking another Iranian revolution if the mullahs can’t talk their way out of the sanctions regime, and the nuclear weapons may not be as important to them as their own survival.  That assumes, though, that the Iranian mullahcracy wanted nuclear weapons for rational reasons (survival, regional influence) and not non-rational reasons (religious belief in a global conflagration delivering the Twelfth Imam).

There’s also the possibility that Iran doesn’t want bilateral relations with the “Great Satan,” which would make Kerry’s renewed offer a quaintly amusing footnote. They could cooperate with Europe to lift the sanctions if they trade away nuclear-weapons development, and still refuse to engage the US. After 34 years of propaganda in Iran, it might be a tough sell for even the mullahs to suddenly commit to normal relations with the US without creating even greater political instability.  The offer doesn’t hurt, either, but only if we’re making it with a large helping of skepticism about its value to Iran.

All of this is predicated on the basis that Iran is negotiating in good faith at all.  As we have seen in those 34 years, that’s usually not the case.  This will likely be less of a “turning point” in any real sense than just another dilatory tactic for Tehran to get enough time to develop its nukes.


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What a waste of time while they do whatever the hell they want. Kerry probably can’t wait for his first trip to Hanoi to lay a wreath at his hero Ho Chi Minh’s grave.

gsherin on February 27, 2013 at 10:05 AM

Containment…

Only we don’t call it containment right?

Sheeesh!

workingclass artist on February 27, 2013 at 10:11 AM

In America you have the right to be stupid.

mwbri on February 27, 2013 at 10:11 AM

John, why the long face?

Bevan on February 27, 2013 at 10:13 AM

Don’t know if we should worry about Iran being serious. Based on past “nuance”, Kerry will likely be for talks before he’ll be against them before he was for them before he was against them before…

apostic on February 27, 2013 at 10:15 AM

mwbri on February 27, 2013 at 10:11 AM

In related news, Dare To Be Stupid has become the State Department’s theme song.

BigGator5 on February 27, 2013 at 10:19 AM

MeanWhile,back at Team Bi Bi Ranch:

Iran nuclear program

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu urges ‘military sanctions’ threat against Iran over nuclear program – @Reuters

52 mins ago by editor

canopfor on February 27, 2013 at 10:25 AM

BigGator5 on February 27, 2013 at 10:19 AM

Heh. They’re not likely to live up to that aspiration.

apostic on February 27, 2013 at 10:25 AM

could lead to a longer-term, comprehensive agreement.

I have no idea what a comprehensive agreement is here. They don’t build nukes in exchange for what? Money?

BL@KBIRD on February 27, 2013 at 10:27 AM

I imagine the Iranians have as much respect for this Administration as they had for Carter. It was so epic a fail for Jimmuh back then: They released the hostages just as Reagan was being sworn in.

It’s going to be interesting to see Democrats finally on the losing end of a deal with the opposite side acting in bad faith.

Liam on February 27, 2013 at 10:27 AM

This will be as effective as Jimmy Carter and North Korea…

right2bright on February 27, 2013 at 10:30 AM

Understanding Iranians 101:

Negotiate: to stall in order to develop deliverable nuke platform, to manipulate, to circumvent others desires for peace.

Peace Treaty: strange phrase often used by gullible American politicians, refer to “kill the Infidels” for further information.

Trust: not found in Iranian dictionary

Binding Agreement: toilet paper

fogw on February 27, 2013 at 10:32 AM

This may not be as meaningful as it sounds.

Actually, it doesn’t sound meaningful at all.

It sounds like Lurch and his boss are desperate.

farsighted on February 27, 2013 at 10:35 AM

All of this is predicated on the basis that Iran is negotiating in good faith at all.

Hahahahahaha!!!!!!!! Yeah, sure they are. Welcome to the bazaar.

GarandFan on February 27, 2013 at 10:35 AM

World powers and Iran ended … with a pledge to hold further discussions starting next month.

LOL.

Progress! Forward!

farsighted on February 27, 2013 at 10:36 AM

Irazakhstan.
=================

Lol,Ed,thats the IranianGoons Caliphate!

canopfor on February 27, 2013 at 10:38 AM

In America you have the right to be stupid.

Some Americans were just born that way. Since its in their DNA, its extremely difficult to change them. In fact, trying to change them would be wrong and we should just accept them as they are.

hawkeye54 on February 27, 2013 at 10:38 AM

Not only are we afflicted with a feckless farce of a pro-islam president and his strange proclivities toward tyrannical rule; now we have another feckless farce of a Secretary of State, who’s own approach to international relations combined with those of his lord and savior will surely lead to disaster after disaster.

The Fat Head Cub would be better off insisting these two pay their dues in cash, immediately.

dockywocky on February 27, 2013 at 10:38 AM

I can’t take anything coming from this incompetent insane Orwellian admin seriously anymore.

And if I don’t, does anyone think Iran does?

farsighted on February 27, 2013 at 10:39 AM

could lead to a longer-term, comprehensive agreement.

I have no idea what a comprehensive agreement is here. They don’t build nukes in exchange for what? Money?

Nuke us last.

hawkeye54 on February 27, 2013 at 10:39 AM

I have no idea what a comprehensive agreement is here. They don’t build nukes in exchange for what? Money?

BL@KBIRD on February 27, 2013 at 10:27 AM

Yes. Lurch is may be on to something here.

That approach has worked so well with the lunatics running North Korea. Why not try it with the lunatics running Iran?

farsighted on February 27, 2013 at 10:42 AM

Kerry meant Iran, and intended to dangle the possibility after this week’s P-5+1 talks with Tehran’s representative on the nuclear question.

Kerry is an imbecile who mistakenly believes that the Iranians are some poor, barely literate easily dazzled and hypnotized simpletons who cannot contain their fascination and idol worshiping tendency around American Politicians.

He could not possibly be more mistaken or arrogant and the Iranians will take great offense at his patronizing condescending arrogant attempts at ham handed bullying.

In other words, their is little doubt that Barack Obama, the great Destroyer, carefully and intentionally placed John Kerry where he is at Foggy Bottom specifically for the kind of foreign relations disasters that John Kerry ignorant, arrogant, condescending, asinine pseudo aristocratic personality will inevitably provoke.

It’s bad enough what Kerry rotten to the core personality is going to do to our foreign policy relationship with our so called friends, god help us once he gets the chance to accidentally or inadvertently insult or otherwise offend our enemies.

SWalker on February 27, 2013 at 10:44 AM

The Marxist Failed President, Hillary Clinton and now John Kerry are absolute morons regarding IRAN. They want to kill all Americans and Jews totally. To believe in a policy of dialogue is ridiculous, they need to be told that if they do not give up their nuclear bomb ambitions they will be bombed into submission, set a Red Line now!

THAT’S ALL FOLKS

Brushjumper on February 27, 2013 at 10:52 AM

kerry does speak French, however, so, you know, we got that going for us.

WitchDoctor on February 27, 2013 at 11:01 AM

Strength through Weakness.

A new concept.

FlaMurph on February 27, 2013 at 11:01 AM

As Kerry had said but a few days ago, he has a “right to be stupid.” He can “dangle his carrot” to Iran all that he wants, but 1) he had better stay away from that rabid rabbit that terrorized Carter and 2) he fails to understand the Islamic concept of taqqiya.

Like his boss, the Fresh Prince of Bill Ayers, Kerry blathers a lot of words to say nothing.

onlineanalyst on February 27, 2013 at 11:06 AM

The US drives what sanction policy actually takes place in the world, and we hold a lot of financial and trade cards. Iran’s economy is sinking like a stone, and its currency is in meltdown thanks to trade sanctions.

Which is why Kerry needs to hang tough and hold Iran’s feet to the fire, and maintain the sanctions, rather than feeling sorry for the Iranians. But, based on his previous experience “negotiating” with the Viet Cong, we shouldn’t expect too much toughness from Kerry. He’ll just get a fourth Purple Heart if Ahmedinejad shoots spitballs at him.

Steve Z on February 27, 2013 at 11:08 AM

kerry does speak French, however, so, you know, we got that going for us.

WitchDoctor on February 27, 2013 at 11:01 AM

Rumor has it he also speaks Austrian.

Del Dolemonte on February 27, 2013 at 11:10 AM

He said there was no justification for seeking the shutdown of Iran’s Fordo plant, which was built clandestinely in the side of a mountain and produces most of the country’s medium-enriched uranium, since it’s under inspection by the United Nations nuclear watchdog.

Does Fordo have the Ring of Power in Mordor?

Steve Z on February 27, 2013 at 11:11 AM

Always negotiate until you have a stronger position.

paulsur on February 27, 2013 at 11:16 AM

we shouldn’t expect too much toughness from Kerry

Meh, he wasn’t chosen for toughness. Well, that is, unless you’re talking about diplomacy with any allies we have left. Then, look out!

hawkeye54 on February 27, 2013 at 11:30 AM

Kerry – the original Surrender Monkey.

albill on February 27, 2013 at 11:46 AM

kerry does speak French, however, so, you know, we got that going for us.

WitchDoctor on February 27, 2013 at 11:01 AM

And…he was in Viet Nam. (where he won numerous medals for extreme heroism and suffered many grievous wounds to his body and soul)
Not to mention, of course, that whole Christmas in Cambodia episode (totally at the behest of President Nixon).

Solaratov on February 27, 2013 at 11:56 AM

Yeah. That will end well. /s

totherightofthem on February 27, 2013 at 11:57 AM

It doesn’t matter if Iran develops a nuclear weapon because they don’t have a delivery system.

-Sheriff Joe.

loudmouth883 on February 27, 2013 at 12:14 PM

kerry does speak French, however, so, you know, we got that going for us.

WitchDoctor on February 27, 2013 at 11:01 AM

And…he was in Viet Nam. (where he won numerous medals for extreme heroism and suffered many grievous wounds to his body and soul)
Not to mention, of course, that whole Christmas in Cambodia episode (totally at the behest of President Nixon).

Solaratov on February 27, 2013 at 11:56 AM

Over the past weekend at NewsBusters, there was a thread about a WaPo article talking about how the movie about how Dear Leader personally killed bin Laden was being “Swift Boated” by the Academy giving out the Oscars, in favor of “Argo”.

And there was actually a Low-IQ Democrat Voter posting in that thread-claimed with a straight face that all of the allegations against Lurch by the Swifties had been debunked (they ‘t). He bravely continued the facade for almost 48 hours, until someone finally put him out of his misery by giving him credible evidence he absolutely couldn’t refute.

But true to Leftist code, he simply started to ignore that thread. because of course he couldn’t admit his own ignorance.

Del Dolemonte on February 27, 2013 at 12:22 PM

Kerry was for an agreement before he was against one…

Kerry, who was in Paris meeting the French president and his counterpart Laurent Fabius during a tour of Europe, repeated that Washington was ready to hold bilateral talks with Iran.

Of course it will make things go smoother if he bad mouths the troops at the beginning of the talks. And the French will love it when Kerry gets to the vague offer to surrender… No matter which side he means.

RalphyBoy on February 27, 2013 at 1:08 PM

I feel a period of detente` approaching.

Or MAD.

But nothing resembling actual progress on preventing the Religion of Peace from vaporizing infidels at their leisure.

BobMbx on February 27, 2013 at 1:16 PM

Not to mention, of course, that whole Christmas in Cambodia episode (totally at the behest of President Nixon).

Solaratov on February 27, 2013 at 11:56 AM

Let us not forget that he told the Germans school kids the other day that he snuck into the former East Germany as a 12 yr old on his bicycle.

This guy loves to lie his @ss off.

D-fusit on February 27, 2013 at 1:32 PM

Kerry, who was in Paris meeting…

I imagine he will be spending a lot of time in Paris meeting someone or other over the next few years. When not there, then in Brussels or The Hague. He may spend more time in Europe than in the US.

farsighted on February 27, 2013 at 2:22 PM

So how long will it be before Ketchup-Boy arrives back home, umbrella in hand, to newpaper banner headlines declaring “Peace In Our Time!”?

tpitman on February 27, 2013 at 2:46 PM

Perhaps Kerry can find his old medals and throw them over a fence in Iran. It impressed a Democratic congress in the 70s . . . maybe it will work again. The simple fact that this dolt is the secretary of state says volumes about the sad state of this poor sick Republic.

rplat on February 27, 2013 at 3:55 PM

So the haughty, French-looking Democrat who, by the way, served in Vietnam, has finally found his Global Test.

So why the long face? I would think it would be seared, seared into his memory!

Maybe I’ve read too much from James Taranto….

…. But I doubt it!

tom on February 27, 2013 at 4:51 PM