Thursday, November 26, 2009

Obama wrote a letter to Lula asking for help with Iran

Did everyone catch this?

Obama Writes to Brazil’s Leader About Iran
Mr. Obama did not explicitly criticize Mr. da Silva for hosting President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran, implying instead that he hoped Mr. da Silva would use the occasion to express support for the international effort to forge a compromise on Iran’s nuclear ambitions, according to two American officials.
What is Lula da Silva supposed to do with this letter?
A Brazilian government spokesman said late Tuesday that Mr. da Silva had not yet responded to Mr. Obama’s letter and was considering telephoning him, rather than replying by letter.
Ahmadinejad knows what offer is on the table. What could a letter to the President of Brazil possibly accomplish?

One side is groveling and the other is not. The President of the United States writing a letter to the President of Brazil asking for help convincing the President of Iran to accept a deal is a strange and desperate measure that surely provoked laughter in Brasilia and Tehran. My best guess as to what is happening is that there is a deal that was acceptable to Iran in early October that is not acceptable today. Elements of the deal have been made public, but these elements are not the entire deal. If they were, the deal would never have been acceptable to Iran. In fact, if the deal was once acceptable that indicates that it included enrichment.

My guess as to what changed is Balochistan, the attack on the Iranian Guards commanders. I don't believe any longer that the US changed its deal at the last moment because US policy right now seems sincerely puzzled with and disoriented by Iran's response. I also do not believe public statements from any party, including France which has been working to make the deal as publicly unacceptable to Iran as possible, have any impact.

No comments: