Congratulations to President Obama. Not only was he victorious on Tuesday night; he woke up on Wednesday morning with a host of new advisors springing up in each and every major publication in the US.
Exhibit A: Trita Parsi… Despite being a lobbyist for the Iranian regime who has been dissected by my blog on a number of occasions now, he apparently feels that he too is qualified for the job of ‘Presidential Advisor for Iranian Affairs’. Parsi, whose raison d’etre in recent times has been the removal of sanctions, delineates his policy paper in this Huff Post article:
“While both sides believe they are in a position of strength, reality is that neither Washington nor Tehran holds a trump card. U.S.-led sanctions cannot force capitulation or regime change in Iran (See: Saddam Hussein’s Iraq), and America will not succumb to an Iranian nuclear fait accompli.
The only real solution is a negotiated one — but how can Obama make diplomacy succeed? Here are four recommendations.”
Luckily, no-one would hire an unofficial representative of the Iranian regime to be an advisor on this matter…
So what about at the other end of the spectrum; the Jerusalem Post? Well… they chose to lead with this Reuters piece, which actually seems to hit the mark. But only because they actually quote Iranian officials, understanding as my title suggests, that policy is not created in a unilateral vacuum. I tend to trust comments straight from the horse’s mouth… as opposed to op-eds from Trita our very own Trojan horse in D.C:
Reuters notes that:
Head of Iranian judiciary Larijani condemns “unprecedented” US sanctions; indicates newly re-elected President Barack Obama should not expect Iran to come to negotiating table, says relations “not possible overnight.”
Tim Marshall from Sky News, along with this AFP piece, present mere laundry lists of problems. I wouldn’t be hiring these guys to advise me…
Roya Boroumand in the Huffington Post presents his readers with interesting piece of advice, noting that President Obama should actually be shifting the whole framing underpinning the Iran-related policy:
The future U.S. president should pay attention to their demands and work with its allies to include specific rights-related demands in any negotiations with Iran. A human-rights focused strategy is a long-term investment that would be beneficial to both the American and the Iranian people.
As for the New York Times, they chose to turn to Mr. Parsi for their ‘astute analysis’, thus promptly determining their removal from my shortlist.
Officials insist they have not set a date for talks nor do they know if Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has blessed them. But with Iran’s centrifuges spinning and Israel threatening its own strike, the clock is ticking, and it may put pressure on the Iranians to make a deal, particularly between now and Iran’s presidential elections next June.
“If they can achieve something during that period, it would create a new dynamic and create a very promising opening,” said Trita Parsi, founder and president of the National Iranian American Council, an advocacy group based in Washington that favors diplomacy.
Foreign Policy contributor, author and analyst, Aaron David Miller, provides a moderate and creative solution to the issue; but again relies on the existence of two parties who are willing to talk to each other.
But here’s how to give it your best shot: Start with an interim arrangement that deals with the issue of enrichment, and forestalls Iran from acquiring enough highly enriched uranium to construct a nuke. To get such a deal, by the way, you can’t just come to the party with sticks.
The articles and opinion pieces are endless. The advice, however, is rarely innovative, and tends to point in one direction: diplomacy.
Well, as my title suggests, I am not as optimistic as President Obama’s other new ‘advisors’ in the international media. And this is because I do not listen to what I think the Iranians are saying… I listen to what they are actually saying.
I’ll leave you with this Washington Post piece which has stoked the fires of all our new ‘Advisors on Iranian Affairs’.
Hard-liner Mohammed Javad Larijani, secretary of Iran’s High Council for Human Rights and brother of both the country’s parliament speaker and its judiciary head, said Wednesday: “To protect the interests of our system, we would negotiate with the U.S. or anyone else even in the abyss of hell.”
Does this sound like a regime really ready to sit down, talk and open up their nuclear program to the level of scrutiny demanded by the international community? Maybe in the abyss of hell…
Follow me on Twitter http://twitter.com/IranMediaFocus @IranMediaFocus