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Should America Have a Diplomatic Presence in Iran?

Iran's foreign minister has praised the US's decision to send a diplomat to today's multilateral talks on Iran's nuclear program. Meanwhile, the Bush Administration is apparently considering a diplomatic presence in Iran, the first since the 1979 hostage crisis in which the American Embassy in Tehran was occupied for over a year.

According to an anonymous White House official, the "interests section" would not be a full embassy. Instead diplomats would issue visas to Iranians wanting to visit America. President Bush has not yet approved the plan. Nonetheless, connecting ordinary Iranians and Americans could do much to reduce tensions between the two countries. Do you agree?


stephley stephley 9 years
I'm not so hung up on the idea of calling Bush a flip-flopper - if we're really ready to start leaving Iraq that's great, I just feel uncomfortable about the timing and the Administration's seeming acquiescence to Iraq's sovereignty. Less than a month ago, they were working on long term contracts for various services and with the Iraqis and now they're talking very short time presence. On Iran, I wonder if we went through the motions Saturday for a nefarious (in my view anyway) reason.
lovelie lovelie 9 years
I know that flip flopping makes the public very uncomfortable, in general. However, I also think that each issue needs to be addressed in a progressive way. If a stance is changed because new light as been shed on a problem, and there is a better way to fix it then originally stated, why does it have to be called flip flopping? Why can't it be called a light-bulb? No one is ever going to agree 100% on which way to go about change and progress.....but sometimes I think we should applaud those willing to "have a change of heart" so to speak, if that is truly what is best for the nation..IMO. I agree torgleson though, that they should address these changes when they occur, rather than dodging the speculation and criticism.
True-Song True-Song 9 years
I can see how it's different. I think a better tactic might have been to just say, things have changed, here's the new plan. They know people are going to start yapping about flip flopping, so why not just address is directly instead of inartfully trying to dodge it?
lilkimbo lilkimbo 9 years
I think it sounds silly, but it is different from a time table in that it's not as strict.
True-Song True-Song 9 years
I agree. "General time horizon" sounds silly and is definitely just a way to try to make it sound different than "time table."
lilkimbo lilkimbo 9 years
And maybe the Iraqis do have a different definition of what constitutes long term stability, I don't see how that's a flip on what conservatives have been saying. Further, I specifically stated "conservatives," as to include not just the Bush Administration.
lilkimbo lilkimbo 9 years
Well, Steph, I guess we'll have to agree to disagree.
stephley stephley 9 years
I think it's a little disingenuous to say the Administration isn't flipping on Iraq - yes, they said they'd leave when the situation in Iraq was stable, but even up until a few weeks ago, they also were signing long-term contracts for services in Iraq and working toward a long-term contract with Iraq's government to stay. It suggests the Iraqis have a different definition of what constitutes adequate stability or the Bush Administration has been woefully unaware of how wonderful the situation in Iraq has become. I think they're trying to put a good face on being sternly invited to 'leave now'.
lilkimbo lilkimbo 9 years
And on Iran, the position has consistently been that we should use all avenues necessary. Conservatives as a whole were never against any diplomacy with any Iranian officials; they have been against unconditional talks with known terrorists. I think the position has always been a lot more nuanced than the media likes to present. (The same goes for the liberal position.)
lilkimbo lilkimbo 9 years
Actually, the conservative stance has always been that we would pull out of Iraq when the Iraqis are ready. The Iraqis have just now started talking about us pulling out. That's not really a flip-flop to me.
Jillness Jillness 9 years
I don't really know what to say...the massive "flip flops" that have been going on recently between the "general time horizon" and now this. I just can't seem to get my head around it. Has anyone heard "general time horizon" said out loud? It sounds like a completely foolish way of getting around the phrase "time table". Grown men acting very, very silly.
rabidmoon rabidmoon 9 years
YES!!! Understanding comes through dialogue, not mindless military posturing and threats. Let the diplomacy commence.....its WAY overdue. The last thing this world, or ANY country needs right now is another damn war.
popgoestheworld popgoestheworld 9 years
Sorry if I'm wrong here, but wasn't it a conversative stance recently that diplomacy with Iran was idiotic? And now you're behind it? I don't get it.
dukegirl dukegirl 9 years
I agree that connecting ordinary Iranians and Americans could do much to reduce tensions between our two countries. Citizen diplomacy can help us go from the general (that is, seeing each other as governments) to the specific (that is, seeing each other real people with real lives).
stephley stephley 9 years
I doubt Iran's sole reason is to destroy the West - I'm sure there are some Eastern countries they don't much care for as well. What was the sole purpose of our developing atomic weapons?
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 9 years
As Shirley Temple would say "Myyy Wooord". It's about flippin time some good sense comes out of this administration. I guess the old saying better late than never takes full precidence here.
UnDave35 UnDave35 9 years
I agree that we need to have some sort of relationship with people that don't like us. I don't think it is wise to establish diplomatic bases in countries that are developing atomic weapons in with the sole desire to destroy the West.
True-Song True-Song 9 years
I don't think foreign relations are like elementary school. If someone doesn't like you, they could bomb you , not just sit at another lunch table.
UnDave35 UnDave35 9 years
huh?? I think the case you're resting needs some further explaining, please.
raciccarone raciccarone 9 years
I rest my case.
UnDave35 UnDave35 9 years
I agree that we need re-establish a relationship with Iran. I think we should start with reopening the diplomatic base there. You know, the one they overran in 1979?
raciccarone raciccarone 9 years
I had a friend who said "ignore them long enough they'll go away." True that friend was eight years-old and was referring to a playground bully, but are international relations really that different?
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