Trita has two pieces up on Huffington today, one with J Street Executive Director Jeremey Ben-Ami on why the President should reject arbitrary deadlines for diplomacy with Iran.

How Diplomacy with Iran Can Succeed
History argues strongly for President Obama to resist pressure to set arbitrary deadlines for diplomacy with Iran – as he did again on Monday. While we agree with the President that talks cannot be open-ended, the focus should be on how to make diplomacy succeed rather than debating when to declare it a failure. Successful diplomacy will require international cooperation — with Israel and with other actors — and an exquisite sense of timing as to when to push, when to listen and when to wait.
…With so much riding on this difficult challenge, America must realize that missing the opportunity to find a diplomatic solution is not an option. The elections result may help pave the way. Fortunately, even if the election results are not to Washington’s liking, there is nothing about the challenge posed by Iran that should preclude a diplomatic solution. The trick, we must realize, will be to avoid setting up roadblocks to our own success.

The second takes on Congress’ secret love-affair with Ahmadinejad, and why they want to meddle in the Iranian election despite that being the one thing everyone agrees we shouldn’t do…

Congress-Ahmadinejad Secret Love Affair Continues Well, this saga is just getting worse and worse. I reported earlier this week that H.R. 1327, the Iran Sanctions Enabling Act of 2009 had been put on Congress’ suspension calendar (fast track voting) for Tuesday – a move that puzzled many since imposing new sanctions on Iran four days before Iran’s elections would likely help Ahmadinejad get re-elected.
Turned out that the item had been put on the agenda by the Republicans, and that the Democrats opposed it precisely because they didn’t want to do anything to help Ahmadinejad get re-elected. So it was pulled off of the agenda sometime on Monday.

But last night, Republican lawmakers moved to replace the State Authorization bill with another Iran sanctions act – the Iran Refine Petroleum Sanctions Act.

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