Foreign Policy

Iran Cracks Open Door for Nuclear Talks

| by Nuclear Energy Institute

Yesterday, we noted that Libyan President Muammar el-Qaddafi followed President Obama’s speech at the United Nations with a speech that ran about an hour over its quota. We didn’t mention that it drifted in from Cloud Cuckooland with a pit stop in Madville. It did prove the perfect introduction to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who went into full-on rant mode about Israel and capitalism. It wasn’t a heart warming performance and a lot of the delegates – Western ones, in particular – walked out.

But after the speech, Iran went as far as it has done so far to open the door to negotiating over its nuclear ambitions.

Iran is willing to have its nuclear experts meet with scientists from the United States and other world powers as a confidence-building measure aimed at resolving concerns about Tehran's nuclear program, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Wednesday.

This might be occurring because some of the bigger countries are talking about more severe sanctions:

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On the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly, President Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev on Wednesday discussed the possibility of what Obama called "serious, additional sanctions," while France's president, Nicolas Sarkozy, told French television that the "dialogue is achieving nothing. There will be a timeline, a date limit. In my mind, it's the month of December."

Medvedev noted that sanctions are “seldom productive,” but having Russia join in might be very productive, given its involvement in Iran’s domestic nuclear energy program.

There’s more to the story, including Iran’s kitten-in-the-oven tale of woe over needing “enriched uranium needed for medical purposes,” so do read the whole thing. Diplomacy and negotiation invite tremendous cynicism – the game playing is just so intense – then again, Iranian statements invite tremendous cynicism, as the speech at the U.N indicated - so bring a pound of salt when talks get underway October 1.