Pecan, almond, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

Yesterday we quoted Hillel Fradkin’s prediction regarding negotiations with Iran regarding Iran’s development of nuclear weapons:

If there are negotiations, they are likely to be among ourselves – among the United States, the Europeans, Russia and China. There may be several subjects of these negotiations, but the most crucial will be whether to drop our demand for a cessation of enrichment.

I wonder if Fradkin was able to make this prediction like Carnac the Magnificent, by having advance word of the contents of the envelope. He appears to have been proved correct in about the time it took Johnny Carson to open the envelope and read the question he had divined inside it. Today Eli Lake reports in the New York Sun:

As Iran’s clerics review an offer from the great powers to rejoin nuclear disarmament talks, America and her allies have failed to reach full agreement themselves on the exact terms under which Iran would be considered to have suspended its enrichment of uranium.

In the meantime, America has proposed that in exchange for suspension – however it is finally decided – it will lift the trade embargo on Iran by providing nuclear technology for power generation and spare parts for its American-made civil aircraft.

An administration official and two Western diplomats confirmed yesterday that there is no shared definition between America, Britain, France, Germany, Russia, and the International Atomic Energy Agency on what would constitute suspension, the precondition under which America is prepared to join the European talks with Iran that were broken off earlier this year.

The White House is pressing for suspension to include the end of conversion of uranium yellowcake into the UF6 gas suitable for centrifuges to create nuclear fuel.

Meanwhile, Russia and the U.N. atomic watchdog have taken the view that Iran should be allowed to enrich uranium on a “research” level while negotiating the terms of a final agreement.

The negotiations put one in mind of Churchill’s description of the Munich agreement Neville Chamberlain secured from Hitler regarding Czechoslovakia in 1938. Churchill said of Chamberlain:

The utmost he has been able to gain for Czechoslovakia and in the matters which were in dispute has been that the German dictator, instead of snatching his victuals from the table, has been content to have them served to him course by course.

Today Barry Rubin predicts: “It seems likely that the Iranian regime will keep talking up to the moment it gets the bomb, although estimates vary widely on how long that would take.” Both Fradkin’s and Rubin’s predictions seem about as difficult as Carnac’s.

On the comedy front, Scott Ott reports: “Iran may stop nuke-making in exchange for ICBMs.” And my updated version of the answer in the heading above to the question Carnac had divined inside the envelope is: “Name two nuts and a maniac.”

UPDATE: On the non-comedy front, Michael Ledeen asks: “Is Bill Clinton still president?”


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