We discussed at some length the shortcomings of the recent proposal put forward by Iran in its letter to the IAEA. There are a number of deficiencies with it that do not answer the concerns of the international community. There is no recognition of the deep concern people have because of the 20 percent enrichment that Iran is pursuing. There is a recognition on the part of the international community that the agreement that was reached in Tehran a week ago between Iran and Brazil and Turkey only occurred because the Security Council was on the brink of publicly releasing the text of the resolution that we have been negotiating for many weeks. It was a transparent ploy to avoid Security Council action.
It seems that the Brazilians have had enough. President Lula, the man who engineered Brazil’s entry to the great power club
, is approaching the end of his presidential career. It is no great secret that he wishes to end his incredibly popular Presidency
on a high note. He has looked long and hard for an opportunity to show the world the greatness Brazil has attained during his time in office, and Iran offers him just that. Given what he has put into this project, it should come as little surprise to see Mr. Lula and his administration voraciously protesting American attempts to end his parade.
The weight of his protest, however, was
surprising. The following letter was leaked to Brazilian Press
this morning. It is signed by President Obama, addressed to Mr. Lula, and was delivered to the latter approximately one month ago (H/T NewsHoggers
It seems that Mr. Obama was for this deal before he was against it.
I am left with but one question: how did this happen? Did anybody at Foggy Bottom or Pennsylvania Avenue question why the President should authorize tirades against the evils of Brazilian foreign policy when he had already given the Brazilians the only thing they needed to destroy any shreds of legitimacy our criticisms might have had?
Our foreign policy-making apparatus is a mess – no more evidence is needed to establish this point. When perched upon a petard one must play carefully with fire. We gladly gave our competitors a match.