Some recent news stories hint that ongoing diplomacy may actually prove productive.
However, Secretary of State Condi Rice says the "Cuba option" isn't going to be part of any negotiated deal. This is from an interview on Fox News with Chris Wallace, May 21:
SECRETARY RICE: Well, first of all, let me just set the record straight. We haven't been asked to provide security assurances to Iran. What we are talking about is a package that will make clear to Iran that they are choices to be made, either that there will be sanctions and actions taken against Iran by the international community or there is a way for them to meet their civil nuclear concerns.Meanwhile, Israel's prime minister Ehud Olmert recently told CNN that Iran is only "months rather than years" away from having the technical capability to make a bomb.
But it's obvious that in addition to the nuclear issue we have other issues with Iran. We have a state in Iran that is devoted to the destruction of Israel. We have a state in Iran that meddles in the peace process supporting organizations like --
QUESTION: So directly, because I want to get to this point of would we ever agree to a security guarantee for --
SECRETARY RICE: Chris, you can't take this question out of the context of what Iran is doing in the international system. Iran is a troublemaker in the international system, a central banker of terrorism. Security assurances are not on the table.
If Israel believes that Iran is about to go nuclear, US security guarantees could get in the way of an attack.
Off-topic: I wonder what Condi thought of this comment from Tony Snow in his May 16 press briefing at the White House?
I don't want to hug the tar baby of trying to comment on the program -- the alleged program -- the existence of which I can neither confirm nor deny....Hmmm.
Q ...And would you put into English the phrase, "hug the tar baby"?
MR. SNOW: Well, when we hug the tar baby -- we could trace that back to American lore. I don't see it as a personal sacrifice to answer a call from the President of the United States to come and serve, I consider it an honor. That still gives me chills. I go out at the end of that lawn, I look back the pillars, and think, man, I'm working here. I don't know if you ever do this, but if you don't, I suggest you do. It's an astounding thing. And whatever the citizens and you may feel about your particular state in life, this is a very special place to work.
These Bush people are just natural born diplomats, aren't they?
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