The U.S. vs. Iran: One Side Is Playing for Real, the Other Only for Time

[Wall Street Journal] Michael Rubin - Earlier this month, I traveled to the Middle East to meet Shiite tribal leaders and urban notables from southern Iraq. They described how Iran has transformed its consulates in Karbala and Basra into distribution points for everything from money to shaped charges. While the West approaches diplomacy with sincerity, the Islamic Republic mocks diplomatic convention to shield subversion. While diplomacy necessarily involves talking to adversaries, Washington should not assume that the ayatollahs operate from the same set of ground rules. Tehran may still conduct diplomacy to fish for incentive and reward but, at its core, Iranian diplomacy is insincere. The Iranian leadership will say anything and do anything to buy the time necessary to acquire nuclear capability. Diplomacy cannot succeed if one side is playing for real and the other only for time. The writer is a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute.

2006-09-21 01:00:00

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