[From STRATFOR’s Geopolitical Weekly]
The Iranians have now agreed to talks with the P-5+1, the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council (the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Russia and China) plus Germany. These six countries decided in late April to enter into negotiations with Iran over the suspected Iranian nuclear weapons program by Sept. 24, the date of the next U.N. General Assembly meeting. If Iran refused to engage in negotiations by that date, the Western powers in the P-5+1 made clear that they would seriously consider imposing much tougher sanctions on Iran than those that were currently in place. The term “crippling” was mentioned several times.
Obviously, negotiations are not to begin prior to the U.N. General Assembly meeting as previously had been stipulated. The talks are now expected to begin Oct. 1, a week later. This gives the Iranians their first (symbolic) victory: They have defied the P-5+1 on the demand that talks be under way by the time the General Assembly meets. Inevitably, the Iranians would delay, and the P-5+1 would not make a big deal of it.
Talks About Talks and the Sanctions Challenge
Now, we get down to the heart of the matter: The Iranians have officially indicated that they are prepared to discuss a range of strategic and economic issues but are not prepared to discuss the nuclear program — which, of course, is the reason for the talks in the first place. On Sept. 14, they hinted that they might consider talking about the nuclear program if progress were made on other issues, but made no guarantees.
This is a transcript of the Unto the Breach program. Click here for the audio.
And to think you heard it on CNN… On the show “Cafferty File,” host Jack Cafferty addressed Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s defense of the hundreds of millions of dollars that will be spent on contraception.
“What exactly did she mean? Are the millions of dollars for contraception supposed to stop people from having babies? [That’s] starting to sound a little like Chairman Mao.” Good point, Jack. Try finding any remarkable difference between Pelosi’s Congressional Progressive Caucus’ platform and the Chi-Coms’.
Barack Obama is accelerating his promise to withdraw U.S. troops from Iraq. U.S. troops are reducing their visibility as Iraqis take over security.
Intelligence officials are saying that the Sunni al Qaeda in Iraq insurgents are being replaced by Shiite Iranian proxies. Representative Gary Ackerman (D-NY), who chairs the House Subcommittee on Middle East and Southern Asia, says that Iraq is being absorbed into a “regional proxy war with Iran.”