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The MAIN Iran Thread: Eventual Confrontation

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The MAIN Iran Thread: Eventual Confrontation

Old 03-28-07, 02:04 PM
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http://www.kptv.com/news/11418947/detail.html

Boat Location Confirmed

Britain's military said Iran's own coordinates bolster the assertion that a captured Royal Navy crew was in Iraq's territorial waters when it was taken.

Vice Admiral Charles Style said those coordinates put the British boarding vessels 1.7 nautical miles inside Iraqi territory when the Iranians showed up.

Style said that the Iranians have given conflicting information on where they believe they picked up the Britons.

"The Iranian government has provided us with two different positions for the incident," Style said. The first we received on Saturday and the second on Monday. As the map shows, the first of these points still lies within Iraqi territorial waters. We pointed this out to them on Sunday in diplomatic contacts."

"After we did this, they then provided a second set of coordinates that places the incident in Iranian waters over two nautical miles from the position given by HMS Cornwall and confirmed by the merchant vessel," Style said. "The two Iranian positions are just under a nautical mile apart - 1,800 yards or so. It is hard to understand a reason for this change of coordinates. We unambiguously contest both the positions provided by the Iranians."

Style said that an overflight of the merchant vessel was conducted Sunday morning, which confirmed it was anchored in Iraqi waters.


"The action by Iranian forces in arresting and detaining our people is unjustified and wrong," Style said. "As such it is a matter of deep concern to us and the families of the people who have been taken. We continue not only to call for their safe, but for their safe and speedy, return, and we continue to seek immediate consular access to them as a prelude to their release."

Britain and the United States have said the sailors and Marines were intercepted Friday after they completed a search of a civilian vessel in the Iraqi part of a waterway, where the border between Iran and Iraq has been disputed for centuries.

Iran said the crew members are being treated well, but refused to say where they are.
Old 03-28-07, 02:45 PM
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What do you'll propose GB do?
Old 03-28-07, 03:35 PM
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Originally Posted by classicman2
What do you'll propose GB do?
Pull out of Iraq. That is as far as the Democrat plan goes, I believe.
Old 03-28-07, 03:47 PM
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I know your solution, kvrdave. Nuke 'em!
Old 03-28-07, 03:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Vandelay_Inds
First we need to ascertain precisely what does Iran seek with this provocation. Why give us any legal justification for military action? I'm not sure what's the motivation behind this, and we've been played like fools up until now, so we need to be cautious before deciding what posture we need to assume.
They probably want to show that they won't be intimidated by the (then impending) tightening of sanctions by the UN Security Council. Even though military personnel were involved, this is purely a political response.

Also keep in mind that this is not the first time this has happened

http://www.theage.com.au/articles/20...844894656.html
Old 03-28-07, 06:32 PM
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Originally Posted by darkessenz
I have to agree that Britain has failed to show their teeth on this...

Behind the scenes negotiation should go on WHILE you bluster and put tremendous pressure in the media. They should have frozen relations, withdrawn diplomats, etc. very soon after Iran refused basic requests (such as to speak with the prisoners).
I agree that the UK should flex its doplomatic muscles some more.

I'm sure that all those captured Brits wished that they had went back to the civilian ship and make a stand until backup comes in. But that surely would have had some people killed and oil prices going up.

I think Iran has said they would let one female hostage go (Gee, thanks). I would be shocked if Iran made any moves to execute the rest of the crew - that won't help things. For now, I think they want to have their propaganda party but will eventually release them all.
Old 03-28-07, 08:10 PM
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Originally Posted by classicman2
I know your solution, kvrdave. Nuke 'em!

Only if the "run away" strategy doesn't work.
Old 03-28-07, 08:29 PM
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The UK can't do much because the Bush Admin is telling them not to conduct themselves in a conflicting manner. Bush knows we would have to back the Brits if they went in and a war started. And we don't have the troops to do it. So, double dumbass on us. But something is going to have to happen because we can't let countries do this. It's getting insulting to be a member of the modern world when just any hickbillah country can come along and threaten you and not have anything done to make the country think twice about doing it again.

Maybe the Bush Administration can sell arms for hostages.
Old 03-28-07, 09:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Vandelay_Inds
I don't think we will be intimidated either by them capturing a dozen marines. There is the possibility this was the result of internal strife among the security and political forces in Iran. I really can't fathom what this means at this point, or how we should respond. One thing I know though, we gotta get smart in our foreign policy. We've fumbled our way into too much of a mess already.
I don't think the point was to intimidate us but rather to flaunt their ability to pull it off without a major immediate response. It could also possibly be a test to see how the UK/US would respond. Like you I'm not particularly sure exactly how we proceed, especially considering how tied up our forces are.
Old 03-28-07, 09:46 PM
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Originally Posted by DVD Polizei
So, double dumbass on us.
<img src=http://www.fast-rewind.com/startrek41.jpg>


Old 03-28-07, 10:04 PM
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Old 03-29-07, 09:39 AM
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More great stuff from Stratfor.

Geopolitical Diary: Perspectives on the British Detainees

The British Foreign Office on Wednesday balked at a letter ostensibly written by the only female among the 15 British military personnel being held by Iran. Foreign Secretary Margaret Beckett called the release of the letter, which clearly had been dictated by the Iranians, "completely unacceptable." London obviously does not appreciate having its citizens being used for propaganda purposes.

It is essential to put the detainee situation into perspective. The deepening standoff over the detainees -- like most things Iranian these days -- boils down to the status of U.S.-Iranian talks over Iraq. Tehran was feeling pretty confident that it had the United States cornered after the U.S. congressional elections in November, but the tide turned as Washington worked with its allies to level the playing field. The recent assassination of a key Iranian nuclear scientist by Mossad, the defection of a high-ranking former Iranian defense official and the detention of five Iranian citizens -- including members of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) and Quds Force -- by U.S. forces in Arbil have unnerved Iran. And IRGC members and other officials within the government have not attempted to hide their outrage at the top leadership over these incidents.

Moreover, Tehran has watched unhappily as the United States has wrested the nuclear card from its diplomatic hand. The Iranians have been careful to paint their nuclear program as just threatening enough to be useful as leverage in their talks over Iraq, but not threatening enough to spur a devastating strike by the Israelis. By tying the nuclear issue to Iraq, Iran had a relatively solid negotiating tactic with which to challenge Washington. Recently, however, the United States trumped that card -- agreeing to hold direct public talks over Iraq while keeping the nuclear issue firmly in the hands of the U.N. Security Council, where Washington persuaded members to pass a new set of sanctions targeting the finances of top IRGC officials. Additionally, the United States pulled Russia into its corner on the U.N. resolution, albeit temporarily -- a situation that manifested in a Russo-Iranian spat over the future of the Bushehr reactor.

Since then, Iran has been seeking a new card to play, and the British servicemen and marines were an easy target.

Significantly, in seizing the British personnel, Iran incurred a political risk, not a military one. The Iranians are not looking to hold the detainees long enough to invite military intervention or a search-and-rescue operation on Iranian soil. The seizure was a daring move, but the leadership in Tehran is well aware that provoking an even larger escalation would backfire in the negotiations over Iraq.

The Iranians likely intend to drag this crisis out for as long as they can -- using the TV footage of the detainees for domestic purposes and demonstrating to the international community that Iran can play dirty in order to get what it wants out of the negotiations over Iraq and its nuclear program. At the same time, Tehran will be extremely careful to show that the Britons are not in danger and are being treated well -- thus steering toward a diplomatic resolution to the situation and leaving itself the option of releasing the detainees without appearing to cave to external pressure.

Meanwhile, the United States and United Kingdom will be posturing to convince the Iranians that this latest ploy in the Gulf was a major miscalculation, and that military action is a real possibility. To get the message across, the USS John C. Stennis and USS Eisenhower launched joint exercises in the Persian Gulf on March 27 -- the first time multiple U.S. carriers have done so inside the Gulf since the 2003 invasion of Iraq. Although both have been steaming in the North Arabian Sea for more than a month, this is the first coordinated training -- something Iran is sure to notice, despite public denials that the exercises are taking place.

And additional assets are not far away. The French carrier Charles de Gaulle is supporting operations in Afghanistan from the Arabian Sea. The USS Reagan is operating in the East China Sea, and the Nimitz, Enterprise and Truman are all maintaining a state of readiness in accordance with the fleet response plan.

Rumors also are flying within intelligence circles about a coordinated search-and-rescue operation by British and U.S. Special Forces to extract the detainees from Iran. Rescue operations are being planned in case the tactical situation changes, but the likelihood of a go order being given is another story. Such an operation would be extremely difficult to pull off, and would be preceded by a series of conciliatory moves by London and Washington designed to lower Iran's alert status. In addition to the challenge of locating the detainees -- who likely are hidden deep inside the country, possibly have been separated and certainly are surrounded by military personnel -- the U.S. and British governments must factor in the possibility that Western expatriates and diplomats in Iran could be taken hostage in retaliation for any military rescue maneuver. The risks are simply too high to pursue such an operation, particularly since the Iranians are showing every intention of releasing the detainees after negotiations, and making it clear that the Britons are not in harm's way.

That said, the United Kingdom, United States and Israel all have an interest in leaking plans concerning an imminent rescue mission in order to get the Iranians to blink first. Moreover, increased intelligence-gathering and the positioning of British Special Air Service teams and their support elements in the region will, in and of themselves, add to Iranian angst.

Despite all the military posturing, the United States is just as unwilling as Iran to enter into a direct military confrontation with so much at stake in Iraq. The primary aim of these military maneuvers is to psychologically wear down the Iranians and get the clerical regime to curb its appetite for adventure if it wants a deal on Iraq. The question that remains, then, is: How well are the Iranians reading U.S. intentions? Only the timed release of the detainees will tell.
Old 03-30-07, 07:21 PM
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http://www.cnn.com/2007/WORLD/meast/....ap/index.html
Iran, in a <B>confidential letter</B> posted Friday on an internal Web site of the U.N. nuclear monitor, said its fear of attack from the United States and Israel prompted its decision to withhold information from the agency.

<B>In the letter, Iran said the U.N.'s International Atomic Energy Agency had repeatedly allowed confidential information crucial to the country's security to be leaked.</B>

The IAEA, in response, urged Iran to reconsider, saying the decision would be in defiance of the monitor's 35-nation board. <B>Both the Iranian document and the confidential IAEA response were made available to The Associated Press.</B>


...continued...
Does anyone else find this a little... odd?
Old 03-30-07, 08:55 PM
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This would be an interesting twist if in fact Iran maybe took hostages to, at the most, postpone an invasion by the US it had information about? Seems a little odd indeed, just by the actions of the IRG and how they abducted the Brits. This was more of a whimsical action, rather than a pre-planned action to "defend" their country.

They need to provide some evidence of a possible strike. Although, I still planned on the US initiating an air strike sometime this year anyway.

I think the IAEA is a joke, so I can't defend much about them.
Old 03-31-07, 02:16 AM
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Originally Posted by DVD Polizei
This would be an interesting twist if in fact Iran maybe took hostages to, at the most, postpone an invasion by the US it had information about?
Yeah, maybe they got an inside tip from Chavez.
Old 03-31-07, 06:45 AM
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Could be...

Lead the invasion, Thor!
Old 03-31-07, 07:22 AM
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We need to bomb all radars and expensive buildings in Iran. Make them blind. They know that a war will mean their own destruction, so I am sure they will tolerate a few bombs here and there.
Old 03-31-07, 05:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Vandelay_Inds
Let us remember though what happened the last time we bought the idea that middle easterners want liberalism, and are being prevented from achieving it only by oppressive and "illegitimate" tyrants.
Let us remember what happened when we bought the idea that ME'ers wanted democracy.

Since Iran has obviously raised the stakes, we must put our foot down, say this is enough, and strike back. And hit them hard. We affirmatively cannot let countries get away with this shit. Take a few of our hostages? Oh, ok, we'll bomb you and kill a few thousand of your civilians. The only thing these guys understand is pain, so let's give it to them. Diplomacy is a joke, they know it, and continue to mock us.

What we should do, is have about 15 of our stealth bombers do a fly-by over Tehran, just to make a point.
Old 03-31-07, 06:46 PM
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Originally Posted by DVD Polizei
Since Iran has obviously raised the stakes, we must put our foot down, say this is enough, and strike back. And hit them hard. We affirmatively cannot let countries get away with this shit. Take a few of our hostages? Oh, ok, we'll bomb you and kill a few thousand of your civilians. The only thing these guys understand is pain, so let's give it to them. Diplomacy is a joke, they know it, and continue to mock us.

What we should do, is have about 15 of our stealth bombers do a fly-by over Tehran, just to make a point.
That's the wrong play at this time. (And yes, I'm sure there will be a chorus of folks who will say we don't have the military strength to do anything, but the fact is, we could destroy the Command and Communication structure of Iranian military quickly and you can't fight blind)

Anyway, what needs to be done this time (As should have happened in Iraq), is to get the SC fully behind the diplomatic isolation of Iran's leadership. We don't need the Russians, Chinese and to some extent the French, whispering sweet notings to the mullahs promising they'll block any action. We let those three tell Saddam they'd get him off the hook at some point and he just needed to wait it out.

It's painfully clear that Iran's nuclear ambitions are geared towards weapons and anybody who believes the 'sham' out of Tehran, is just pretending.
Old 03-31-07, 07:17 PM
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Since Iran has broken away from the "We're only trying to go nuclear for our people" argument, which I strongly supported because Iran did nothing at the time, Iran has clearly changed its direction and I can no longer support their nuclear interests.

The UN, once again, is not representing the UK appropriately and merely issued a subtle statement to Iran. The UN is only good for those who are not playing by the rules of the international community.

So, for the record, in case anyone is not clear, I now support any measures to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear systems. They've lost their argument and are on the track to a wishful confrontation much sooner than Bush was/is--which has surprised me. I thought Iran would be smart enough to keep to itself because it was actually winning the nuclear argument.

Sanctions won't do anything. If anything, Iran will reach out for more hostages while sanctions are going on. We need to deal them a quick strike (while advising them in private of this but not public so they save a little face) and let them know we can hit them much harder if they don't let the hostages go free (this would be a public announcement). If they kill the hostages, then we can pull half our troops out of Iraq, and conduct the largest air strike on military structures since WWII, alongside the British RAF.

Obviously, it's just my opinion, but we can no longer tolerate this kind of stuff. It must stop. Diplomacy does not work.

I will say though, the US doesn't have the military strength to fight Iran on land in combat. We'll have to do most of it via air and stealth. We can do a lot of damage via air and I would imagine this should send an incentive to Iran to chill out and back off.
Old 03-31-07, 08:55 PM
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Somebody tell Douste-Blazy his car was just set on fire by a peaceful economically-depressed teenager.
Old 03-31-07, 09:57 PM
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Originally Posted by cinten
Unlike other members I am completly against torture. However if Bush and company are allowed to waterboard and torture people why should we expect Iran to not torture those sailors?
Ooh, that would be a good point, if it weren't invalid.

Because they're not allowed. I'd love to see a link to this "fact" you throw out there. I haven't heard of this ever happening, and I know for damn sure if it did, somebody's ass would be in some deep shit.

Believe me, it would be a lot more interesting if they were. But they're not. If you saw how detainees are really treated, you'd agree with my assessment that a Holiday Inn Express has nothing on this place.

This is the kind of statement, without merit, that adds to the public perception that our troops, while having all forms of our collective respect and support, are simultaneously vile, merciless, soulless torturers and killers.
Old 03-31-07, 10:55 PM
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Originally Posted by DarkestPhoenix
Ooh, that would be a good point, if it weren't invalid.

Because they're not allowed. I'd love to see a link to this "fact" you throw out there. I haven't heard of this ever happening, and I know for damn sure if it did, somebody's ass would be in some deep shit.
If you haven't heard about the torture that's been going on in places like Abu Ghraib or Guantanamo, you haven't been paying attention. Even fox news has talked about this.
Old 03-31-07, 10:56 PM
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While I understand cinten's point, the facts as they seem to be are, Iran crossed their own borders and kidnapped 15 servicemen from the UK Navy, thus initiating their own conflict without provocation. So, if you follow the logic, they shouldn't be permitted to torture them.

However, if we were at a point where a conflict arose and we were officially involved with Iran (which is becoming the case day by day apparently), then Iran can torture their prisoners or hostages all they want. All is fair, and as pointed out, we have Gitmo and Abu G. to give the Iranians all the justification they need to torture people.

HINT: That's why people like me and others were so angry at these types of holding facilities and were ill when such abuses were revealed.

Last edited by DVD Polizei; 03-31-07 at 10:58 PM.
Old 05-14-07, 08:44 AM
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From CNN:
Iran warns U.S. over strike threat

ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates (AP) -- The Iranian president said Monday Iran will retaliate if the U.S. strikes the country militarily.

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad also said Iran had agreed for the benefit of the Iraqi people to meet with the U.S. in Baghdad to discuss security in Iraq.

"They (the U.S.) cannot strike Iran," he said at a press conference during a two-day visit to the UAE. "The Iranian people can protect themselves and retaliate."

The Iranian president's comments followed those by U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney who said on Friday from the deck of an aircraft carrier in the Persian Gulf that the U.S. and its allies would prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons and dominating the region.

Despite the tense words, the U.S. and Iran announced Sunday that they have agreed to meet in Baghdad to discuss security and stability in Iraq.

"Both parties have confirmed the talks will take place in Baghdad in the presence of the Iraqi government," Ahmadinejad said Monday. "We decided we were ready and prepared to do this to support the Iraqi people."

On Sunday, a spokeswoman for Vice President Dick Cheney said the U.S. was willing to talk to Iran if discussions deal only with Iraq, where the Bush administration says Tehran is undermining the Baghdad government and sending deadly roadside bombs.

"We are willing to have that conversation limited to Iraq issues at the ambassador level," Cheney's spokeswoman said after he met with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.

Lea Anne McBride said the willingness to talk with the Iranians about security issues in Iraq is consistent with U.S. policy and does not reflect a new position.

Iran's state-run news agency reported Sunday that the U.S. sought meetings in Baghdad to discuss security in Iraq.

Iran reportedly received the request through the Swiss Embassy in Tehran, which often acts as an intermediary for the U.S. in the country.

"Iran has agreed to this (negotiation) after consultation with Iraqi officials in order to lessen the pain of the Iraqi people, support the Iraqi government and establish security and peace in Iraq," the Islamic Republic News Agency quoted Mohammad Ali Hosseini, the foreign ministry spokesman, as saying.

McBride said the comments appeared to refer to what the U.S. has called "the Baghdad channel ... our willingness to talk to the Iranians at the ambassador level about Iraq-specific issues."

She could not confirm specifics, such as whether the U.S. had made a formal request.

Iran and the U.S. are the nations with the most influence over Iraq's fate, and Iraqi leaders have leaned on the Bush administration to try to cooperate with Iran.

Iraq's foreign minister said he expects the talks to occur in the coming weeks. A Baghdad setting would allow for "serious, quiet and focused discussions on the responsibilities and the obligations of all to help stabilize the situation in Iraq," Hoshyar Zebari said.

"I think it's important to address the issue in a frontal way by putting all the facts on the table," he added.

Zebari said in a telephone interview he was pleased the Iranians "have accepted this and expressed their willingness and readiness to participate in the talks."

The development came while Cheney is on a mission to persuade moderate Arab states to do more to support the Iraqi government of Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki. The vice president also was seeking to counter Iran's growing influence across the region.

Leaders balk at talks

In March, lower-level U.S. and Iranian diplomats held rare talks on the sidelines of a Baghdad gathering that was a precursor to an international conference on Iraq held in Egypt this month.

Despite speculation of a Cabinet-level meeting at that conference, neither U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice nor Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki wanted to make the initial move, passing up what would have been the first high-level, face-to-face talks since the U.S. broke off relations with Tehran over the 1979 hostage crisis. (Watch why Rice, her Iranian counterpart never met )

The only direct U.S.-Iran contact came in a casual chat between the U.S. ambassador to Iraq, Ryan Crocker, and Iran's deputy foreign minister, Abbas Araghchi.

Until this spring, the administration dismissed calls for an outreach to Iran and Syria; at the Egyptian conference, Rice did sit down for a talk with Syria's top diplomat.


Zebari would not rule out the possibility that the U.S. detention of five Iranians in northern Iraq might come up during the planned talks. The U.S. military has said the Iranians are suspected of links to a network supplying arms to Iraqi insurgents; Iran has denied the accusation.

Cheney was in the Egyptian capital for a short round of talks on the future of Iraq with Mubarak, a key American ally in the region. Cheney is trying to shore up support amid growing skepticism across the Arab world toward the effectiveness of the U.S. military buildup in Iraq.

After the talks, the vice president headed back to Jordan, ending his weeklong trip to the Middle East with talks with Jordan's King Abdullah.

The trip has also taken him to Iraq, the United Arab Emirates and to the carrier USS John C. Stennis in the Persian Gulf to rally troops. (Watch how Cheney delivered a stern message to Iraqis )

On the carrier about 150 miles from the Iranian coast, Cheney warned Iran that the U.S. and its allies would prevent the country from developing nuclear weapons and dominating the region. Washington accuses Iran of pursuing a nuclear weapons program. Tehran insists the program is only intended for peaceful purposes such as generating electricity.

In response to Cheney's remarks, Hosseini on Sunday accused Washington of spreading fear in the Middle East.

"The U.S. is pursuing the creation of crisis, panic, fear and insecurity in the region, which we strongly oppose," he said.

Iran's Defense Minister, Mostafa Mohammad Najjar, dismissed Cheney's statements as "psychological operations" and cautioned the U.S. against military action, according to the semi-official ISNA news agency.

"I warn Mr. Cheney and other American leaders that response by the Iranian nation and its armed forces to any military option will be strong, swift and surprising," he was quoted as saying.
Now, discounting all the rhetoric on both sides... why is it that we are not talking to Iran? I know, I know, they're an evil totalitarian theocracy bent on nothing less than the anhiliation of the United States... but isn't that all the more reason we should be using every single weapon in our arsenal, including diplomacy? Since a military strike would have disastrous consequences, and since I honestly do believe that Iran is working toward acquiring nuclear weapons... aren't we basically just painting ourselves into a corner? Why wouldn't we want to talk to these guys?

It reminds me of two first-graders bickering back and forth, and then one huffs up and says, "Fine! I'm never talking to you ever again forever as long as I live!"

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