Lots of hand-wringing on the right over the dispatch of a State department senior official, William Burns, to meet with senior Iranian officials in Geneva. Seems like a necessary “last chance” offer to me, and Iran has apparently rejected it:
A U.S. decision to bend policy and sit down with Iran at nuclear talks fizzled Saturday, with Iran stonewalling Washington and five other world powers on their call to freeze uranium enrichment.
In response, the six gave Iran two weeks to respond to their demand, setting the stage for a new round of U.N. sanctions.
Iran’s refusal to consider suspending enrichment was an indirect slap at the United States, which had sent Undersecretary of State William Burns to the talks in hopes the first-time American presence would encourage Tehran into making concessions.
Officials and diplomats refused to characterize the timeframe as an ultimatum, but it appeared clear that Iran now has a de-facto deadline to show flexibility.
The Bush Administration has done everything a superpower can do except use military action. Iran’s mullahs come to the conclusion that the U.S. and Israel either will not or cannot stop their nuclear ambitions. If strikes are launched against the mullahs’ nuclear facilities, the U.S. will have tried every avenue to stop the program without resort to bombing. but Iran is an outlaw regime and it does not care a bit what the world demands of it.