Roger Cohen has written a half-way decent op-ed for the NY Times today. In it he said:
Given these convictions, the United States must embark on a visionary change of direction. Obama must assure Khamenei that not only has America abandoned the goal of regime change, it sees Iran as a central player in regional stability. That deals with the independence obsession.
Obama must abandon military threats to Iran’s nuclear program in favor of an approach recognizing the country’s inevitable mastery of the nuclear fuel cycle, while securing verifiable conditions that ensure such mastery is not diverted to bomb manufacturing. That addresses Iran’s intellectual pride (as well as the fact that the neighborhood includes the nuclear-armed powers of Israel, Pakistan and India).
He must redirect U.S. policy toward Israel-Palestine to make Hamas-Fatah reconciliation a core American objective, recognize that the “terrorist” label is an inadequate description of the broad movements that are Hamas and Hezbollah and end the Israel-can-do-no-wrong policy that sabotages a two-state solution. This would allow Khamenei to claim that his demands for Palestinian justice — as the self-styled leader of the world’s Muslims — have been heard.
In return, Iran must accept the two-state solution backed by the Arab League (Khamenei has said “the fate of Palestine should be determined by the Palestinian people”). It must reciprocate American movement on Hamas and Hezbollah by ending its military, but not political, support for them.
It must back U.S. efforts to stabilize Iraq and Afghanistan. It must improve its poor human-rights record. And, to show goodwill, it must hit the pause button on the centrifuges once high-level talks with America begin.
I disagree with the pause button on the centrifuges, but everything else he says here seems to make good sense. Will Obama follow this path? I wish he would.