A senior US official will sit down with Iranian officials and other world powers in Geneva this Saturday to discuss Iran's nuclear program, a move intended to show that the Bush Administration wants to find a diplomatic solution to the standoff.
The decision breaks from continued statements from Bush that the US would not join nuclear talks unless Iran stopped enriching uranium. In fact, yesterday Iran signaled that it will not halt its atomic activities. Considering that one senior White House official says the Under Secretary of State William Burns "is there to listen, not to negotiate," I doubt Saturday will produce any concrete agreement.
The Bush administration must realize that the US cannot afford to be left out of the talks. To see why,
"He is there as the bad cop. There is nervousness that Solana and some of the other countries, such as China and Russia might be willing to settle for less than full suspension (of uranium enrichment)."
Since John McCain has hit Barack Obama hard for Obama's admission that he would sit down with Iran without preconditions (with ads like the one here), do you think this weekend could impact the presidential election? Since Iranian President Ahmadinejad plans on coming to New York in September, right smack in the middle of the campaign, I'm sure we'll find out how the issue plays out with voters.