Thursday, August 27, 2009

Israel Runs Away from Good News on Iran (Again)

Everything labeled "Iran" must be sneered at. The automatic effort by Israelis to portray Iran always in a negative light is more serious than just the bias it obviously reflects. It sends a clear message to Iran that Israel "only understands the language of force."

Coming on the heels of a negative interpretation of Iran's opening of Arak to inspections, the latest is rumors from IAEA (why don't they just report these things?) that Iran has, for unexplained reasons, given another gift to the West: ending, for the moment, the production of refined uranium. Once again, the immediate Israeli response is to twist it into something negative.

We do not know the reason. Given the tension and the recent Iranian concession on Arak inspections and Natanz inspections, there is every reason to consider the possibility that this represents one more Iranian signal.

If the West is stubborn enough to slap Iran every time it does something positive, there will be plenty of Iranian officials more than happy to say, "You see! The West only understands the language of force."

Wisely, given the historical track record of Western duplicity, Iran is continuing to expand the number of available centrifuges; momentarily, it is just not using the new ones.

Given the political conflict within Iran, you could almost imagine that a cautious national security faction might be saying to the hardliners: "If you are so certain that compromise with the West is hopeless, then prove it! Make a concession and we will see if the West responds in a positive, professional manner." In the last week, Iran has made three concessions. Exactly what has Iran received in return?

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