Every few weeks we hear about another outreach by the Obama administration to Iran. Each outreach is often put down by our counter parts in Iran. That's what happened this time as well.
Mr. Obama has talked of change, but has taken no practical measures to redress America's past mistakes in Iran," said Ahmadinejad's media advisor Ali-Akbar Javanfekr, quoted by semi-official news channel PressTV.
The spokesman went on to say that the U.S.' support of Israel must stop and a series of apologies must be paid. In fact, each and every public outreach are countered with similar statements.
Worse than that, the Obama administration falls silent for weeks and months following these public statements. In other words, they reach out, Iran slaps back, and the Obama administration does nothing else.
I assume and hope that they are doing plenty in back channels. Yet, they must know that when they go out publicly and reach out, are slapped back, and then do nothing, that such a stance makes them look weak. Yet, the administration comes out with these statements and then sits silent after they are rebuked.
I hope I am wrong but it appears as though there is an arrogant and terribly naive foreign policy view. Trying to reach out to enemies without turning such an outreach into a disaster is no easy task. It takes a very delicate balancing act. Simply putting out a public statement from time to time is not enough. Yes, much of such a plan is done behind the scenes and it is entirely possible that there is a lot being done behind the scenes right now. Yet, such an approach cannot allow for such a public rebuke with absolutely no response. That the Obama administration hasn't responded doesn't speak well of his overall policy.