Iranian diplomacy: an oxymoron

“We will tell them where they were wrong,” says Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki about the upcoming meeting between the U.S. and Iran in Baghdad on May 28.

Oh joy, Iranian hindsight. I wonder if that will be as much fun as the recent Iranian holocaust denial convention.

Foreign Minister Mottaki, speaking Saturday at the G-11 Economic Forum now being held at the Dead Sea, said that “Iran plans to lecture the United States during an upcoming meeting in Baghdad on what it said were mistakes that Washington made in its war on Iraq,” according to The Jordan Times.

Brilliant diplomatic move.  But do they plan to talk about Iraq’s future?

The Jordan Times, which is indirectly owned by the Jordanian government, published further extensive details of the Iranian foreign minster’s remarks about Iran’s role in the region:

At Saturday’s politically charged discussion, which also hosted Afghan President Hamid Karzai, Mottaki fiercely defended Iran when the panel’s moderator said that successive US policies, including the Iraq war that toppled Saddam Hussein — Iran’s archenemy — have unintentionally helped Tehran increase its influence in the region.

“We don’t need any help,” Mottaki said. But he quickly realised his undiplomatic comment and said jokingly: “Some say that we’re speaking behind doors, which doors, I don’t know.”

Mottaki also invoked a conspiracy theory for the reason Iran refused to meet with the U.S. previously:

Iran’s top diplomat also said that Tehran had publicly warned Washington about its policy “mistakes,” especially regarding the invasion that toppled Saddam. “But they never listened” until recently, when a bipartisan US panel released the Iraq Study Group report which criticised the Bush administration for not engaging Iran and Syria in efforts to quell violence in Iraq, Mottaki said.

Mottaki said Washington requested a meeting with Iranian officials a year ago, but it never materialised because the US only had “propaganda purposes” in mind when it called for the event.

So now Mottaki can read minds, too.

I miss the days of U.S. presidents like Jimmy Carter, but let’s face it, the current hardening of the U.S foreign policy in the Middle East came as a result of Iran’s seizure of U.S. diplomats as hostages during the Carter administration back in 1979. Carter’s legacy was tarnished as a result, and successive presidents have more than learned the lesson of “no more Mr. Nice Guy” when it comes to the Middle East.  It looks like Iran still has not joined the, what– eighteenth century?

Mottaki has not just opened his mouth to change feet. He has stuffed both feet in his mouth and is now just sitting there looking proud of himself.

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