This is supposed to be Mac's strong point. Obama said months ago that the US should engage Iran in diplomatic talks. Mac said Obama was "naive." Now look at who's "naive."
Five former U.S. state secretaries urge Iran talks
REUTERSReuters North American News Service
Sep 15, 2008 19:11 EST
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Five former U.S. secretaries of state said Monday the next American administration should talk to Iran, a foe President Bush has generally shunned as part of an "axis of evil."
Engaging Iran is important because Washington's military options against Tehran are unsatisfactory, said the diplomats, who worked for Republican and Democratic administrations.
The five -- Colin Powell, Madeleine Albright, Warren Christopher, James Baker and Henry Kissinger -- all said they favored talking to Iran as part of a strategy to stop Tehran's development of a nuclear weapons program.
"Frankly the military options here are very poor. We don't want to go down that route," said Christopher, who worked for former President Bill Clinton from 1993 to 1997.
Powell, who worked for Bush from 2001 to 2005, said U.S. officials in Bush's first term had held low-level talks with the Iranians until 2003 "and then it was stopped."
"I agree with Madeleine, and I suspect my other colleagues, that we should try to talk to them," Powell said during a forum hosted by The George Washington University and taped for broadcast on CNN.
Albright, who was secretary of state in the second Clinton administration, had just told the group: "I believe we need to engage with Iran. I think the whole point is you try to engage and deal with countries that you have problems with."
Dealing with Iran has become an issue in the November presidential election campaign, with Democrat Barack Obama and Republican John McCain sparring over Obama's stated readiness to talk to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and other U.S. adversaries if elected president.
McCain has criticized Obama's stand, saying it shows naivete and inexperience.
Source: Reuters North American News Service