Sunday, April 24, 2005

Colin Powell and John Bolton

Politics: It has long been established that they do not like each other, but this latest story involving Jack Straw concerning Iran makes Powell look weak.

May 2 issue - Colin Powell plainly didn't like what he was hearing. At a meeting in London in November 2003, his counterpart, British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw, was complaining to Powell about John Bolton, according to a former Bush administration official who was there. Straw told the then Secretary of State that Bolton, Powell's under secretary for arms control, was making it impossible to reach allied agreement on Iran's nuclear program. Powell turned to an aide and said, "Get a different view on [the Iranian problem]. Bolton is being too tough." Unbeknownst to Bolton, the aide then interviewed experts in Bolton's own Nonproliferation Bureau. The issue was resolved, the former official told NEWSWEEK, only after Powell adopted softer language recommended by these experts on how and when Iran might be referred to the U.N. Security Council. But the terrified State experts were "adamant that we not let Bolton know we had talked to them," the official said.
and a year and a half later, still no progress between the E-3 and Iran on a nuke deal. E-3 is reduced to offer Airbus parts as part of a incentive package so Iran will drop its nuke program. Chirac is pushing to be even less hard on Iran and now this
But the talks took a new turn last month when negotiators from the EU's "big three" (EU3) and the office of EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana agreed in Paris to consider an Iranian proposal that it keep a small-scale enrichment programme that would be closely monitored by the U.N. nuclear watchdog.
At this point Iran who should be on the defensive and feeling pressure from the vaunted E-3 is in the driver's seat as Europe continues to fold. Now we find out that Powell helped along the process while Bolton has the right stance that you had to be tough on Iran, but Bolton is the bad guy.

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