In conversations with Mr. [Dennis] Ross before Mr. Obama’s election, we asked him if he really believed that engage-with-pressure would bring concessions from Iran. He forthrightly acknowledged that this was unlikely. Why, then, was he advocating a diplomatic course that, in his judgment, would probably fail? Because, he told us, if Iran continued to expand its nuclear fuel program, at some point in the next couple of years President Bush’s successor would need to order military strikes against Iranian nuclear targets.
Citing past “diplomacy” would be necessary for that president to claim any military action was legitimate. Iranian officials are fully aware of Mr. Ross’s views and are increasingly suspicious that he is determined that the Obama administration make, as one senior Iranian diplomat said to us, “an offer we can’t accept,” simply to gain international support for coercive action.
Has Ross's outlook changed since the fall? He did not return Crowley's calls for comment, so it's hard to tell. I doubt Ross has any interest in anything but the hardest of pro-Israel positions.
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