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July 23, 2009

Clinton says Iran unable to respond to overtures

From Reuters:

LONDON (Reuters) – The United States is still willing to ‘reach out’ to Iran but political turmoil there means Tehran is not now in a position to respond, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told the BBC on Thursday.
President Barack Obama made diplomatic overtures to Iran before its June 12 election, but Clinton told the BBC: “We haven’t had any response.”
She added: “We’ve certainly reached out and made it clear that’s what we’d be willing to do, even now, despite our absolute condemnation of what they’ve done in the election and since, but I don’t think they have any capacity to make that kind of decision right now.”

Clinton here is right on.  Iran is currently in political paralysis–they can’t pick a cabinet, much less deal with the outside world.  We should remember this when members of the US Congress call for us to rush into negotiations to meet some September deadline.  Beginning an ambitious effort now for renewing bilateral ties with Iran will only ensure one thing: that talks will fail.  And with neocons and hawks chomping at the bit to ramp up the pressure, it’s unlikely we’ll have a second chance.

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