The holidays are a time for sitting down with those you love and catching up. Of course, best-laid plans never do seem to work out as you’d hoped, do they? Grandpa remarks to Aunt Sally over appetizers that she looks like she’s gained some weight while fifteen cooks in the kitchen don’t realize they’re too many until the turkey is burned and somebody’s lost a thumb…
A couple of weeks ago the US and Iran were in that blissfully hopeful stage, planning dinner and setting the perfect table… then somebody forgot to put the sweet potatoes in the oven and set dinner back from November 15 to December 5. Now Grandpa’s starting to get saucy…
Iranian foreign policy expert and longtime confidant of Ahmadinejad, Mojtaba Samareh Hashemi, said Monday that sanctions have had “no noticeable effect” and noted that Tehran will expect the P5+1 to take a position on Israel’s alleged nuclear arsenal.
Hashemi further clarified that this would not preclude talks, but would force Iran to take a tougher position. “If they do not state any response on these questions, it means they have not chosen the path of friendship,” he said. “Not answering these questions will mean they have decided not to commit to nuclear disarmament and support the Zionist regime being armed with nuclear weapons.”
Hashemi also said that Iranian negotiators would consider proposed changes to the TRR fuel swap, but that any deal would not stop Iran from enriching uranium up to a level of 19.75 percent.
All this just a week after Defense Secretary Gates said that the sanctions had caught Iranian leaders by surprise, citing a potential rift between Ahmadinejad and Khamenei:
We even have some evidence that Khamenei now is beginning to wonder if Ahmadinejad is lying to him about the impact of the sanctions on the economy and whether he’s getting the straight scoop in terms of how much trouble the economy really is in.
So, if everyone does eventually make it to the dinner table, can they pull it together enough to enjoy a nice family evening? I guess we’ll just have to wait for December 5.
In the mean time, have a happy Thanksgiving!!