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2 Aug, 2010 14:21

USA is being irrational towards Iran – political analyst

As Iran faces new international sanctions over its nuclear aspirations, Iran's President Ahmadinejad said he is ready to discuss the most sensitive issues with Barack Obama in front of the world's media.

The suggestion comes as Washington insists a strike on Iran is still possible if diplomacy fails to stop Tehran's nuclear ambitions.

“The military options have been on the table and remain on the table and certainly in that regard it’s one of the options that the President has. I hope we don't get to that, but it's an important option and it's one that's well understood," said the head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mike Mullen in a TV interview on NBC.

Anne Penketh, from the British American Security Information Council, thinks that the recent remark by Admiral Mullen is another effort by the US to build up pressure on Iran.

“I think the whole point of what Admiral Mullen said over the weekend was to tell the Iranians that actually the Americans mean business,” she said. “Otherwise, if you look at the timeline, we are not talking about any kind of military action anytime soon. You have to look at how long it is going to take Iran to actually get to the threshold of having a deliverable nuclear weapon. We’re actually talking anything between three to five years. So the talk of military action is really aimed at ratcheting up the pressure on the Iranians to come to the negotiating table at a time when the Americans are really tightening the screws with sanctions on Iran.”

Moscow says it's hoping to see progress in negotiations with Tehran. Russia's ambassador to the UN, Vitaly Churkin, said the organization’s resolutions exclude the use of force against Iran.

"We’ve gained some experience from what happened in the context of Iraq, and when we discuss the Iranian nuclear issue and even adopt sanctions, resolutions on this matter, as you remember, we have very clear language in every resolution.” Churkin said. “Even the last resolution, even clearer than in three previous resolutions, on the fact that it has nothing to do without any possibility, even remotely, of use of force against Iran.”

Seyed Mohammad Morandi, from the University of Tehran, thinks that despite the gravity of the situation, face-to-face dialogue over the issue between the two leaders is unlikely to happen.

“I don’t think such a thing is going to happen. This is not the first time actually he has made the offer, but I think it’s more symbolic. What he [Mahmoud Ahmadinejad] is basically saying is that, ‘We are willing to compare our rationality and our reasoning with American reasoning and American logic in front of the global audience’, and what he is basically saying is that Americans are behaving unreasonably, irrationally and dangerously, whereas the Iranians are looking for a solution.”

Sassan Ghahramani, founder of the Iranian American Political Action Committee, shares the opinion that debates will not take place since the questions that will be raised are too sensitive for the US President.

“There is zero chance that that meeting of minds will take place,” Ghahramani said. “President Obama cannot be seen as elevating President Ahmadinejad to a debate of equals here, domestically in the US, especially in the run-up to the November elections.”

“Ahmadinejad will of course bring the issue of Israel and the US’s relationship with Israel,” Ghahramani added. “It would be a great liability for [Obama], domestically speaking.”