U.S. Policy for Direct Talks With Iran

In its most explicit statement so far, the Obama administration — via Secretary of  State Hillary Clinton — has made clear that Washington wants bilateral talks with Iran. Speaking at the Brookings Institution’s Saban Center last night she said in answer to a question:

We are deeply engaged in consultations right now with our P-5+1 colleagues, looking to put together a presentation for the Iranians at the next meeting that does make it clear we’re running out of time, we’ve got to get serious, here are issues we are willing to discuss with you, but we expect reciprocity.
Now, I would also add, David, that we have, from the very beginning, made it clear to the Iranians we are open to a bilateral discussion.  And we have tried.  You know the President tried to reach out.  Dennis Ross is here.  He was instrumental in those first two years in trying to create some kind of opportunity for dialogue on the nuclear issue.  So far there has not yet been any meeting of the minds on that.  But we remain open.  And we’ve certainly tried quite hard in the P-5+1 context to have a bilateral discussion, and they’ve not been willing to do so.  But we understand that it may take pushing through that obstacle to really get them fully responsive to whatever the P-5+1 offer might be.  Right now, we’re working on the P-5+1 and making our willingness known that we’re ready to have a bilateral discussion if they’re ever ready to engage.

Jim Lobe

Jim Lobe served for some 30 years as the Washington DC bureau chief for Inter Press Service and is best known for his coverage of U.S. foreign policy and the influence of the neoconservative movement.



  1. And the Senate just voted for more sanctions. Forked tongue is what they use to call it when the genocide of Native Americans was taking place.

  2. People like to mar Dennis Ross as an agent for Israel, whatever. So, if we grant this charge, how much COULD someone like that alter negotiations, change the Cabinet’s perception of reality?

    In other words, trying to be charitable to our elected officials, to what degree do the institutional hands like Ross and countless others with ties to ag, defense, energy… run the USG asylum? Is the president the most propagandized of us all?

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