Memri, which translates Middle East broadcasts from their native languages, recently captured Iran's chief nuclear negotiator, Hosein Musavian, on Iranian TVreports the Wall Street Journal as it points out that dialogue can iron out all difficulties, solve all problems, and heal all enmities:
"Thanks to the negotiations with Europe, we gained another year, in which we completed" Isfahan. Iran suspended enrichment "in Isfahan in October 2004, although we were required to do so in October 2003. . . . Today we are in a position of power. We have a stockpile of products, and during this period we have managed to convert 36 tons of yellowcake into gas and store it."
… The Iranians themselves are now admitting that all of this is no happenstance but is a calculated effort to exploit what the mullahs perceive to be American weakness and Europe's lack of will. An internal Iranian government document recently obtained by an opposition group says that "The talks process ended the suffocating economic pressures that our country was being subjected to in the months prior to the October 2003 agreement. . . . With the Americans deeply stuck in a quagmire in Iraq, the Europeans know that they will have to ultimately accommodate our just demands."
And why shouldn't the mullahs believe this, given Europe's reaction to President Bush's routine recent comments that "all options are on the table" regarding Iran's nuclear ambitions? German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder, facing an uphill election campaign, seized on the remark as an opportunity to repudiate even the possibility of using force. "We have seen it doesn't work," he declared, in a reference to Iraq. (Saddam Hussein might argue from his holding cell that it does.)