The deadlock over Iran’s nuclear issue has passed the level of novice. The interests do not overlap at all and players don’t seem to be flexible enough to stretch or extend their horizons. Real parties to the fight, Iran and US, don’t look at each others’ eyes and seek solution by sending direct rhetorical signals or indirect orders and warnings. The fact is that none can prove the other is wrong, and therefore the fight will go on and on and on.
From Iran’s point of view, Americans have no right whatsoever to determine what Iran should or should not do (and they are right). From Americans’ point of view, the unpredictable mullahs should not have access to nuclear material (and –if not generalized to all Iranians- they are right too).
Part of this hide-and-seek game is the contradictory signals about the latest proposal (in which Iran produces UF6 and Russia enriches it for Iran) that has captured my attention:
NY Times first reveals the proposal and Condi Rice immediately denies it
- ElBaradei hopes that Iran’s nuclear case would be resolved in few days.
- Igor Ivanov travels to Tehran to discuss the plan, and Russia denies offering such proposal after Ivanov’s meeting with Mottaki.
- Larijani says that Iran is open to any proposal while denying the existence of any official offer. At the same time he says that any nuclear fuel work must be performed on Iran’s soil. Later in the day, Iran confirms rejection of the offer!
Is this the end of story? I don’t know. I call it a political game, where the fisher leaves the bait out to see if the fish likes it, and then takes the bait away to let the fish come after it, get tired, and bite on it with pleasure.
Another step towards completion of my proposed game: