The Persian Abyss: Good cop - bad cop

During his speech at the United Jewish Communities General Assembly in Los Angeles, CA, Israel's Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said that the "international community" has "reached the pivotal moment of truth regarding Iran." Unfortunately for the Prime Minister, reality tells a different story. The "international community" that the he alludes to is the American government alone. This past week saw British Prime Minister, and arguably America's closest ally in the War on Terror, Tony Blair separating from the Bush doctrine and aligning himself with the overwhelming majority of the UN, calling for direct dialogue with Teheran. Throughout his tenure, the American president has made it a staple of his foreign policy agenda to isolate, humiliate, and in many ways, antagonize the Islamic Republic, yet tensions have not calmed and now the situation with Iran has only grown more volatile. At the same time, Europe, collectively, has offered Iran certain benefits if they suspended uranium enrichment. Europe and America have continued this routine with the Islamic Republic for the past year but with no avail. The Iranian regime knows its options and its limits. To their east, they see a forgotten war in Afghanistan that the American government has simply abandoned. To their west, they see a nation occupied by American forces and engulfed in sectarian violence that perpetuates by the day. Coincidentally, on the same day that the Israeli PM made his speech on confrontation with Iran, 80 Iraqi insurgents, dressed in police uniforms, kidnapped approximately 60 (possibly up to 100) of Iraq's academic intelligencia in Baghdad. As recent past has shown us, their fate is most likely very grim. The Iranian view of current events is quite simple; - The United States is bogged down and will be for the next few years. The chance of an Israeli strike on Iranian nuclear facilities is slim to none, not only because of the consequences of such action but also in the doubts of what these possible strikes would actually do to the Iranian nuclear program. At this junction, the best option that America can pursue is direct, unadulterated dialogue with the Iranian government. Anything outside this dynamic will cultivate more frustration on both sides with no substantial results. For the past 27 years, the American mantra towards Iran has been sanctions and embargo, culminating with such current events. What the American government must understand is that open dialogue does not mean weakness, but the lack of communication ultimately leads to hostility. With limited options and nothing to lose, it would behoove the American government to give the idea of direct talks with Teheran serious consideration.