Friday, May 18, 2012

Spinning in the mirror with Iran

There's a fearful symmetry to the diplomatic posturing on display in this Mark Landler article about the pending talks with Iran:
...Mr. Ross said, Iran’s recent statements signal that its leaders are preparing their domestic audience for concessions. Iranian officials have declared that the West has effectively endorsed Iran’s right to enrich uranium, a step they portrayed as a major strategic coup. American officials insist the United States has not done that and has been deliberately ambiguous about whether it would ever grant Iran the right to enrichment.

Still, as Mr. Ross said, “if you’re looking for a way to present a compromise, you want to present it as a victory.”
The Israelis, meanwhile, are loudly demanding that any deal should not allow the Iranians to enrich uranium at all.  So if the U.S. and other negotiating powers are seeking only "to obtain a verifiable agreement to suspend its efforts to enrich uranium closer to weapons grade," as Landler phrases it, that can indeed be spun as a 'concession.'  Each side is boasting that the other side is in conciliatory mode.

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