U.S. talks tougher on dealing with Iran

U.S. talks tougher on dealing with Iran

The international spokesman for Iran’s main opposition movement called for President Barack Obama to increase his public support for Iranian democrats and significantly intensify financial pressure on Tehran’s elite military unit, the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps.

Mohsen Makhmalbaf, during an unofficial visit to Washington, also said Thursday that Iranian opposition leaders supported U.S. efforts to use diplomacy to contain the nuclear ambitions of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s government.

Mr. Makhmalbaf’s remarks came just hours after President Obama expressed growing doubt Thursday during the final day of his Asian tour about his administration’s ability to engage Mr. Ahmadinejad’s government on the nuclear issue.

Mr. Obama emphasized in Seoul that the window for diplomacy was closing and that the U.S. and its allies would begin developing a new set of sanctions against Iran.

“Iran has taken weeks now and has not shown its willingness to say yes to this proposal…and so as a consequence we have begun discussions with our international partners about the importance of having consequences,” Mr. Obama said at a joint news conference with South Korean President Lee Myung-bak.

Mr. Makhmalbaf, who was the campaign spokesman for Iranian presidential challenger Mir Hossein Mousavi, said he believes the current Iranian leadership is incapable of cutting a deal with the West, because the nuclear program is now fundamental to its political survival.

“If they agree not to pursue a nuclear bomb and start negotiations, they will lose their supporters,” Mr. Makhmalbaf said at a lunch hosted by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. “Definitely dialogue is better than war. … But can you continue your dialogue without any results?” [continued…]

Editor’s Comment — Well, if you want to use the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as a measure, Washington’s interest in promoting dialogue without results apparently knows no limit.

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