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Tuesday, February 27th 2007

Taking All Bets…

…where does this end up?

On the one hand,

As representatives of the five United Nations Security Council members plus Germany met here in the wake of Iran’s latest refusal to halt its uranium enrichment efforts, there were signs that the Islamic Republic’s proposal to cap such enrichment at very low levels may be winning some support in Europe.

But strong opposition from the U.S. and Britain to anything less than a full suspension makes a deal at this point unlikely, said analysts and diplomats familiar with the issue, and most were predicting a gradual ratcheting up of U.N. sanctions and a continuing impasse.

Iranian officials “have made a series of miscalculations of how united the international community is,” a British diplomat, speaking under standard diplomatic protocol of anonymity, said as envoys from the six nations met behind closed doors at the British Foreign Office

On the other wacky hand

American officials said today they had agreed to hold the highest-level contact with Iranian authorities in more than two years as part of an international meeting on Iraq.

The meetings, scheduled for the next two months, are expected to include Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and her Iranian and Syrian counterparts.

Keep telling yourselves Iraq’s security and Iran’s nuclear ambitions are two separate issues.

While the newly scheduled meetings may not include direct negotiations between the United States and Iran, and are to focus strictly on stabilizing Iraq rather than other disputes, they could crack open a door to a diplomatic channel.

Still, apparently this sort of ‘concession’ to talk to Iran isn’t as strange as NPR and others make it out to be, seeing as talks have been planned recently but simply never materialized,

A year ago, Iranian and American officials announced a planned meeting between the American ambassador to Baghdad and Iranian officials to help stabilize Iraq, but the meeting never occurred.