We’ve written a ton about the need for diplomacy with Iran here at MoJoBlog. Here’s my position, from an earlier post:
…talks with Iran fundamentally make the United States safer. Right now we have no influence over Iran, and, if anything, continue to antagonize them. Entering a tense but workable diplomatic relationship humanizes both sides, allows them to talk through grievances, and begins the process of making concessions and finding middle ground.
I’ve always felt, “Hey, why not try it? It can’t make things worse.” Well, it’s happened. After a period in which the White House repeatedly changed course over whether they would establish contact with the Iranians, and if so, to what extent, the two sides finally met a long-awaited meeting of regional leaders in Iraq. But when I say they “met,” I mean they shook hands and exchanged pleasantries. From the Wall Street Journal:
…the two sides merely had a quick “meet and greet” and then exchanged remarks within the larger forum. U.S. and Iranian officials said there were no private conversations of any substance.
The optimist in me says, “It’s a start, but we can and must do better.” The cynic in me says that the White House simply used the announcement of talks with Iran as a way to generate positive headlines and never had any intention of performing true diplomacy.