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Previewing Talks with Iran

10:28 AM, Apr 13, 2012 • By DANIEL HALPER
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Steve Hayes, writing in the Wall Street Journal

Iran

"Top American diplomats will sit down across the negotiating table from their Iranian counterparts this weekend in what Obama administration officials have called a 'last chance' for Iran to give up its nuclear-weapons program.

"Although the Obama administration and Iran have conflicting long-term objectives—the mullahs want nuclear weapons, President Obama has promised repeatedly to stop them—their short-term goal is the same: to avoid military confrontation. The Iranians don't want their nuclear momentum reversed, and Barack Obama doesn't want a war complicating his re-election. So an agreement of some kind seems likely.

"Will it matter? Anything that retards Iran's nuclear progress is helpful. But even if the talks 'solved' the nuclear issue—virtually inconceivable, given the measures the Iranians have taken to preserve their program—a bigger problem would remain: the Iranian regime itself. Whatever progress is made in the context of overlapping short-term interests, it will do little to change the long-term strategic problems presented by a hostile Iran. And Iran is hostile.

"It is one of the most underreported stories of the past decade: As we went to war in Afghanistan and Iraq, Iran went to war with us. Tehran has provided weapons to insurgents directly responsible for killing hundreds of American troops in those two countries. It has funded, trained and equipped jihadists—Sunnis and Shiites alike—targeting American forces and interests in the Middle East and beyond. And all along the way it has provided safe haven and support to al Qaeda leaders and those closest to them."

Whole thing here.

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