Dueling Banjoes-Ahmadinejad Vs Bush

The war of words between Western nations and Iran continues at full volume. The United States and Great Britain are pushing ahead to tighten international sanctions against Iran although it is clear Russia and China will not be as ready to accept such actions in light of the recent American intelligence report which claimed Iran did not have nuclear weapons nor was it pushing toward such goals. President Bush told a press conference that most nations “understand that the Iranian nuclear issue is a problem” that must be addressed. China believes, according to a spokesperson, “that the Iran nuclear issue will get resolved appropriately through peaceful and diplomatic means.”

Meanwhile, back in Iran, President Ahmadinejad is hailing the US Intelligence report as a personal triumph. “This is a declaration of victory for the Iranian nation against the world powers over the nuclear issue…Today is the day of victory for the Iranian nation and thank God all plots hatched by the enemies of Iran have failed.” Mohamed ElBaradei, head of the UN nuclear watchdog agency, said the report was a “sigh of relief” because its conclusions jibe with those of the IAEA. He added that “Iran has obviously been somewhat vindicated” in saying they have not been working on nuclear weapons.

Upon reflection, this entire matter could have been handled quite differently by the United States. The Bush inflammatory rhetoric exacerbated the situation and allowed Ahmadinejad to assume the role of victim. Quiet diplomacy was never given a chance by Bush in 2003 and it appears his similar strategy in 2007 has also resulted in failure. Fortunately, no one in 2007 got killed.