A snippet from his photo op with Brian Williams, the rest of which will air tonight on NBC’s evening news. Funnier than anything Ahmadinejad says is Williams’s breathless hype about Iran supposedly having adopted “a new stance, ready for further engagement.” Hey, Brian? They’ve been pushing “further engagement” for six years. The whole point of their strategy is to buy time. The closest this comes to an actual scoop is the Q&A at 3:38, when Ahmadinejad hints that if the west and Iran can reach some sort of agreement on points in common between their two proposals, then they can proceed to meaningful discussions about points in contention, namely, suspending enrichment. To see what that would mean in practice, revisit the Times’s story from last week about western diplomats literally laughing at the position paper Iran presented them with. Quote:
Lift the sanctions, defang the already mostly defanged Security Council, and then, maybe, they’ll be willing to talk about suspending enrichment via a whole new round of negotiations that “would take a minimum of several years,” according to one European diplomat familiar with the plan. Mind you, since this “offer” was extended, Ahmadinejad himself has said that they won’t retreat one iota from their nuclear rights and Iran’s vice president has hinted they might stop cooperating with the IAEA — which, per the blockquote, is already the only entity they’ll even consider cooperating with. So much for a “new stance.”
In its paper, Iran focused only on negotiating a “comprehensive agreement” for the rewards. The paper also said current international sanctions against Iran would be discontinued. The Iranian nuclear issue will no longer be dealt with by the Security Council or the 35-country governing board of the International Atomic Energy Agency. Only the atomic energy agency itself can deal with the subject, the paper said.
Update: Via Bill Amos, she’s “chilled” by his laughter while talking about processing nuclear materials but it’s, um, still a great opportunity to negotiate.