The sudden resignation of Ali Larijani as Iran’s front man in dealing with nuclear development has threatened to become a setback in efforts to achieve agreement between the UN and Iran. Larijani was a political opponent of President Ahmadinejad of Iran and more flexible in seeking resolution of the nuclear issues, but his replacement, Ali Jaill is a reputed hard liner. However, in a move to reassure Europeans there will be no changes in Iran’s policies, Ahmadinejad agreed to allow Larijani to meet with European Union representatives today. The European Union is offering Iran economic and technological incentives to suspend its uranium enrichment program. The situation was not helped by Vice President Dick Cheney’s weekend comment claiming Iran was a “growing obstacle to peace in the Middle East” and warned of consequences if it didn’t end its nuclear program.
The situation is tense between the European Union and Iran and in the middle of negotiations our vice president must intrude with further threats toward Iran. Dick Cheney never ceased making threats about Saddam and the need to do something in Iraq. His jingoism and warlike attitude are well known in the Middle East so when Cheney threatens “consequences” it can only result in Iranian hard liners digging even deeper into their resolve not to compromise. If President Bush really cared for Middle East peace, he would take the first step in that direction by muzzling his good friend.