Persistence, Part II

As Scott noted here, Barack Obama has vowed that a hallmark of his foreign policy will be persistence. Scott wrote:

From the mullahs’ perspective, Obama’s philosophy of persistence perfectly complements the mullahs’ own. It gives them all they need to succeed in meeting their objective. All they need is a little more time. Obama’s declaration of his philosphy is deeply meaningful to them. It tells them that he will leave them undisturbed while they go about their business.

Today Secretary of State Clinton gave the mullahs more reassurance:

Clinton told reporters in Monterrey, Mexico, that the United States will continue to reach out to Iran, even though earlier efforts were unsuccessful. President Barack Obama’s outreach to Iran in a video message recently was rebuffed by Iranian leaders. …

Clinton reaffirmed U.S. hopes that Iran will help in stabilizing Afghanistan.

“Iran borders Afghanistan,” she said. “It has a role to play in the region and we hope it will be a constructive role.”

Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, rejected Obama’s outreach, saying Tehran was still waiting to see concrete changes in U.S. policy. Obama spoke out to Iran on the occasion of Nowruz, the Persian new year, and expressed hopes for an improvement in nearly 30 years of strained relations. Clinton said those efforts will continue. …

“We have a long-held view that there are going to be difficult obstacles to engaging in the short run with the Iranians, but we are going to continue to reach out,” she said.

I suppose the nice thing about the philosophy of persistence, as articulated by the Obama administration, is that it obviates the need for a Plan B.


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