It is February 2011. Barack Obama is beginning the third year of his first term as president of the United States. Mir Hossein Mousavi has begun the second year of his first term as president of Iran. American, European and UN negotiators have just concluded their 85th meeting with Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator, who is a personal representative of ailing Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and a senior officer of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.
Iran rejected a proposal offered in the 84th meeting regarding unannounced, unfettered IAEA inspections of all declared nuclear facilities and suspected sites, including 10 sites under construction along the northern coast of the Persian Gulf. The euphoria with which Washington and European capitals welcomed regime change in Iran last year has been replaced by a resumption of Western determination to negotiate a roll-back of Iran’s nuclear weapons programs and its advanced long-range missile delivery systems. Iran continues to reject any efforts by foreign powers to dictate or proscribe its strategic plans for national security and power projection. Who said that negotiating with “Anyone-but-Ahmadinejad” would be easy?