They’re Not Wrong

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

After threatening Iran with fire and fury, or whatever, Trump said he would meet with Iranian officials without preconditions to negotiate a new nuclear deal, but Iranian officials aren't impressed by Trump's offer.

Suffice to say, it seems unlikely that Trump's overtures will lead to another "summit."

“With current America and these policies, there will definitely not be the possibility of dialogue and engagement, and the United States has shown that it is totally unreliable,” [Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qassemi] said at the news conference, which was carried by Iran’s state news media.

More from the Wall Street Journal:

Ali Motahari, the deputy speaker of Iran’s parliament, said that now that the U.S. has withdrawn Iranian engagement could be interpreted as a sign of weakness.

“Today, negotiations with the U.S. bring humiliation,” he said Tuesday according to the official Islamic Republic News Agency. “For now, it’s not appropriate to talk with the U.S.” [...]

“As long as the Americans bring up negotiations with a forceful attitude, there will be no negotiations,” Heshmatollah Falahatpisheh, chairman of Iran’s national security and foreign policy commission, said Tuesday, according to the semiofficial Iranian Students’ News Agency. [...]

“Why would the Iranians negotiate with an administration that is internally inconsistent?” said Ali Vaez, the director of the Iran Project at the International Crisis Group. “Should they believe Pompeo’s 12 preconditions or the president’s unconditional proposition? At this stage, no Iranian leader can afford to negotiate with a gun to their head.”

That's a very good question. Should you believe what Trump says or what his underlings say?

The answer is you shouldn't believe any of them, or at least that's what the Chinese may tell you following their incoherent trade talks with the Trump regime in which Trump's cabinet officials openly argued with each other while Trump tweeted about it.

The Iranian position is understandable, but they may want to consider the possibility that sitting down for a meeting with Trump may lead to Trump declaring victory even if they don't give him anything. I'm just saying, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has done quite well for himself by simply shaking hands with the only man in the world who is a bigger fraud.

  • muselet

    Juan Cole:

    The clerical regime in Iran has been for decades a weird center of erratic behavior and wild conspiracy theories. But nowadays its spokesmen sound like the adults in the room compared to Trump’s antics (Trump has no idea what exactly as in the Iran nuclear deal or whether Iran honored it– he just had to undo it because it was an achievement of Obama). So congratulations, America, you’ve out-crazied the mullahcracy, which thinks you’re too ca-razy to bother talking to.

    Hard to argue, really.


    • Scopedog

      Yeah, you really can’t to be honest.

  • simpfan

    We tore up a deal the Iranians were abiding by. They should never trust us again.

  • Scopedog

    At least the Iranians made the emphasis about “this administration”.

    They were willing to sit down with the Obama Administration (and even the Bush Administration) because….both of those understood diplomacy (Obama more than Bush).

    Trump, however, has the “I don’t give a fuck!” attitude which simply doesn’t work. Plus he’s a fucking narcissist who’s a bloody idiot who just wants to be adored.

    The Iranians saw what happened with NK. And they also see an Administration full of idiots and assholes. Honestly, who would want to negotiate with that?

  • I don’t often disagree with you Ashby but I do here. Iran is not in the same position that NK was, i.e., needing acknowledgment as a legit government. What they need in short term is for Europe to continue the agreement with them even if the US doesn’t. So they have little to nothing to gain by meeting with Trumpov and instead should be pouring all their energy into courting everyone in the EU. And the Iranians know that just meeting with him will give Trumpov the opportunity to claim some kind of victory before the midterms. They are smart enough to know that a loss for the GOP in November will hurt Trumpov and that is the best outcome they are going to get until after 2020.

    • Scopedog

      A far better comment than mine. 🙂 Nice one, IrishGrrrl.

    • JMAshby

      If it wasn’t clear, I was being facetious. That was a joke. I don’t really think the Iranians should waste a single second entertaining Trump.

    • Nefercat

      “Trumpov the opportunity to claim some kind of victory”
      And in trump world, to claim victory also means being able to claim that someone else is therefore a loser, conquered, inferior. Win-win doesn’t exist for that spray-tanned traitor.

      Why on earth would the Iranians waste one minute dealing with that nasty orange liar and cheat, just to have him crow about how he beat them?