Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the real ruler of Iran, told President Putin, “In the same way that an independent Iran would benefit Russia, a powerful Russia also would benefit Iran.” He argued both nations share a common enemy and he welcomes cooperation with Russia because it has shown support for his nation. The Ayatollah referred to continued American hostility toward his nation and said the United States opposes any country which goes against what it considers to be its national interests. Khamenei pledged, “Cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency is a right and rational move which will be continued and we a re determined to provide our need to nuclear energy and we therefore we seriously pursue enrichment.” Putin offered some ideas concerning nuclear energy which Khamenei promised “we will think about your statements and proposals.” Putin had proposed a plan which would allow peaceful use of atomic energy.
The Putin-Khamenei discussions once again high light the incompetence of the Bush foreign policy efforts. There were opportunities over the past six years for America to engage in discussions with Iranian leaders but they were rejected by Bush. Instead of America working with Iran, the president of Russia has ensured his nation will be the link between Iran and the outside world. Some day, historians will more critically analyze the missed Bush opportunities to end conflict in the Middle East.