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Waiting for Obama

3:14 PM, Nov 5, 2009 • By MICHAEL GOLDFARB
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The New York Times reports on comments by the French foreign minister:

On Iran, Mr. Kouchner said that the violence of demonstrations on Wednesday was very important, another sign that the Iranians "are losing time, not gaining time" by their refusal to deal seriously with the Security Council and the West on the issue of nuclear enrichment.

He said that there would be no discussion of new Security Council sanctions against Iran until the end of the year at the request of Washington. "Our American friends ask us to wait until the end of the year," he said. "It's not us." The Obama administration wants to see if Iran will respond to an offer of negotiations, Mr. Kouchner said. "We're waiting for talks, but where are the talks?"

Kouchner spilled the beans. The Europeans are pressing for some kind of action on Iran, but the White House, it seems, has asked them to wait until the end of the year -- there are more humiliating overtures to be made before the White House makes some concession to the reality of Iranian recalcitrance. Still, we can take some comfort from the fact that Obama's diplomacy may not be open-ended but may in fact have a deadline of some sort -- or at least the Europeans seem to think that's the case.