Weshalb die Mullahs reden wollen
Nachdem der Iran bekannt gab, er würde sich gerne mit den USA an den Verhandlungstisch setzen, um die Angelegenheiten im Irak zu diskutieren, habe ich sehr darauf gehofft, man würde in Washington nicht darauf eingehen. Weit gefehlt: Aus den Vereinigten Staaten hörte man Folgendes:
The White House said it was prepared to discuss Iraq with Tehran, but topics must be limited to that subject and not Iran's nuclear program, The Associated Press reported.
Dies Bereitschaft auf die Mullahs einzugehen, kam deshalb überraschend, weil der Iran zu Recht als Hauptfeind der Vereinigten Staaten ausgemacht wurde, als derjenige Staat, von dem im Moment die größte Bedrohung ausgeht. Nachdem nun jedoch ein paar Tage vergangen sind, hat man im Weißen Haus offenbar verstanden, woher die plötzliche Gesprächsbereitschaft des iranischen Regimes kommt:
Iran waited months to agree to a US proposal to take up the issue, and did so only after Tehran's atomic program was referred to the UN Security Council for possible sanctions, said US national security adviser Stephen Hadley.
"The concern, therefore, is that it is simply a device by the Iranians to try to divert pressure that they are feeling in New York", Mr Hadley said.
Tehran hopes "to drive a wedge between the United States and the other countries with which we are working on the nuclear issue, and, if you will, divert pressure and divert attention," he said.
A senior US official, who requested anonymity, was far blunter, calling Iran's offer "a stunt" and saying that Washington may agree merely to avoid "criticisms" that it did not do all it can to defuse bloody tension in Iraq.
The anonymous US official said that Washington also hoped to exploit apparent grumblings in Iran about hardline President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's handling of the nuclear issue and his country's economy.
"We want to provoke a debate, within the (Iranian) leadership, on the wisdom of these policies," the official said.
Mr Hadley insisted that any talks should not be read as a signal that the United States was softening its take on Iran, saying: "Nothing has changed in the concerns that we have about the Iranian regime."
"We don't want to, in any way, by anything we do, to legitimate this regime, particularly in the eyes of their people," he said.