No worries. He means down the road a bit, after they’ve given up nukes and cut off Hamas and Hezbollah and done all the other things they’ll never do that would force him to make good on this transparent pander. He irritated the left last month when he told a conference of Israelis that “ALL options must remain on the table” vis-a-vis Iranian nukes and “under no circumstances can Iran be allowed to have nuclear weapons.” Shortly thereafter, he did penance by by declaring an Israeli attack on Iran the greatest threat to world peace — which alienated centrists, precipitating a quick denial that he’d said it. He appears to have settled on this straddle now, where he takes the dovish line but sets high hawkish tripwires to reach it. It’s barely even worth noting what an awful idea it would be: the only party that served by a nonaggression pact would be America’s anti-war faction, who would use it as political leverage against the government in the event that tensions with Iran began to rise. It wouldn’t deter Iran at all, since they make war through proxies that give the mullahs plausible deniability. So even as a serious political proposal, which this isn’t, it reeks.
He also wants us to start talking to Iran and Syria now about Iraq. And while I’d love to goof on him for that, dear readers, I’m sorry to report that the joke in this case is on us:
Plans for talks between Iraq and its neighbors, including Iran and Syria, to find ways to curb the nation’s sectarian violence is now expected to involve the United States and Britain, Iraq’s foreign minister and American officials said today…
The Iraqi foreign minister, Hoshiar Zebari, said the regional meeting on Iraq would include Iraq; its six neighbors; the United States, Britain and the three other members of the United Nations Security Council; the members of the Arab League, and The Organization of Islamic Conference.
Because of security concerns, he said, the delegates would be officials at the rank of deputy minister and below rather than the foreign ministers themselves. But he said he expected the meeting to lead to others.
The American embassy in Baghdad confirmed the participation of American officials in the talks.
The announcement comes within hours of Michael McConnell, the new Director of National Intelligence, listing Hezbollah as one of the two biggest threats to the United States.
Exit question: Should we really be showing weakness when the probable future Supreme Leader is warning Iranians not to provoke the “wounded tiger”?