Rich Tucker

“Rezai’s intention was clear: No matter what question I asked, he somehow managed to bring the discussion back to Tehran’s need to find its way out of its dangerous stalemate with Washington,” Hirsh writes. Not to be to flip, but solving that problem’s easy. If Iran wants to settle its differences with the U.S. it merely needs to end its nuclear program (as virtually the entire world insists it should) and allow international organizations to dismantle its facilities.

This wouldn’t be unprecedented. South Africa once secretly built six nuclear weapons, yet dismantled them peacefully. And Ukraine, Belarus and Kazakhstan all inherited nuclear weapons when the Soviet Union collapsed, yet they all decided to give those weapons up.

Hirsh goes on to quote Rezai, who of course tries to pass the buck. President Bush “has started a cold war with Iran, and if it’s not controlled, it could turn into a warm war,” the Iranian insisted. This statement, of course, ignores the fact that it’s the Iranians who’ve launched attacks on Americans.

“I’m not sure who it is in Iran, but I know Iran is causing problems in my battle space,” Maj. Gen. Rick Lynch, the commander of coalition forces in the region south of Baghdad, told CNN on July 8. “Those EFP munitions, we can trace those back to Iran, no doubt.” The U.S. says it doesn’t have any plans to invade Iran, but Iran clearly has a plan that allows it to kill Americans.

Still, Hirsh is ready, even eager, to give men such as Rezai credibility. “If America pursues a different approach than confronting Iran, our dealings will change fundamentally,” the Iranian claims. That led Hirsh to conclude, “new noises are clearly coming from Tehran. Washington should listen.”

Of course, the only sound we need to hear from Iran is silence. If it would shut down its nuclear program, stop attacking Americans in Iraq and stop “meddling into the internal affairs of Iraq,” (as Iraqi national security adviser Mowaffak al-Rubaie put it on CNN), American relations with Iran would indeed improve.

Sadly, none of that’s likely to happen in the real world

Rich Tucker

Rich Tucker is a communications professional and a columnist for