Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Place Your Bets, Part 2

Iran has announced it will consider the proposal offered by the major powers, but will not make any decision until August 22. Captain's Quarters discusses the report and concludes it is "just an opening gambit" in this diplomatic dance. This makes sense and we should hope he is right.

I'd add that because we know that Iran is a consumer of North Korean missiles, it may also be that Iran is waiting to see the results of any missile launch, or possibly that it simply would rather negotiate after the world has had a chance to see what North Korean missile technology can do. It may also be that the delay relates to the military buildups reported at the Counterterrorism Blog, here and here.

A few weeks ago, when the major power accord was announced, I showed the picture below and speculated as to who in the photo would be the first to betray us. A commenter at Captain's Quarters (Eg, second comment) puts his money on EU foreign policy leader Javier Solana, based on that gentleman's ideological similarity to UN Secretary-General Kofi "Show Me The Money" Annan. Mr. Annan, ever so helpful, suggested to the Iranians that there was no rush to come to a decision. The Iranian official who made that statement did not divulge how much Iran had paid for that celebrity endorsement.

As to who will betray us first, my money is still on the French.

NOTE: The caption reads: "Britain's Foreign Minister Margaret Beckett, center, speaks as, from left, Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Dai Bingguo, French Foreign Minister Philippe Douste-Blazy, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, EU Foreign Policy Chief Javier Solana, Germany's Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier and his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov listen."

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