Direct talks with the United States over Iran’s nuclear program will not resume, Iran’s supreme leader announced on February 7. The speech came as new economic restrictions were placed on the selling of Iranian oil that are designed to slow Iran’s drive for nuclear weapons capability.
“The Iranian nation will not negotiate under pressure,” said Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. “The U.S. is pointing a gun at Iran and wants us to talk to them. The Iranian nation will not be intimidated by these actions.”
“Direct talks will not solve any problems,” he added.
The ayatollah is right. Direct talks will not solve this issue.
Iran having just one nuclear weapon will upset the balance of power in the Middle East. Iran is already feared in the Arabic neighborhood. Nations such as Saudi Arabia and Jordan are scrambling to counter Iran. As Iran grows in power, so does its influence in nations such as Iraq and Afghanistan. Iran has already renewed ties with Egypt, is supporting President Bashar Assad in Syria, and continues to sponsor terror across the Middle East.
Washington hopes to change Khamenei’s mind by sitting down at the table to talk peace. The trouble is, it is trying to reason with a man who views global warfare as an inevitable precursor to the return of a Muslim savior. Aside from increasing Iran’s power, the acquisition of a nuclear bomb helps to hasten that scenario.
In his speech, Khamenei said, “Talk is meaningful if it is based on goodwill.” But this was a platitude. He refuses to see any move by the U.S. as a sign of goodwill. To him, the U.S. is the repository of all evil.
America continues to talk anyway. On Friday, the Times of Israel reported that U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry warned Iran, be ready to talk seriously, or else.
“We are prepared to let diplomacy be the victor in this confrontation over their nuclear program,” said Kerry after meeting with Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird. “But,” he also said, “if [the president] cannot get there, he is prepared to do whatever is necessary to make certain that Iran does not have a nuclear weapon.”
No one believes him.
Yet even as negotiation is failing, a war won’t bring lasting peace either.
Every time America gets involved with other nations in the Middle East, it makes things worse. Look at Egypt and the ousting of President Hosni Mubarak. In return for deposing a dictator who was its ally, America got a dictator who is a radical Muslim Brotherhood member and who hates America and no longer wants a peace treaty with Israel. In Libya, America ousted Col. Muammar Gadhafi. In return, America got an al Qaeda-sympathizing government and a dead diplomat in Benghazi. America overthrew Saddam Hussein in Iraq, and in doing so turned the country over to the Persians on a silver platter.
Both talk and action has been disastrous for America. What is left?
The United States and its allies may have the greatest intentions in stopping Iran. They may want peace, but they do not know how to achieve it.
But that should not be a shock: Mankind has 6,000 years of proof that, as Isaiah prophesied, it does not know the way of peace (Isaiah 59:8).
But that world of peace is coming soon. To understand it, and even to learn how to have peace in your own life today, read “What Is the Kingdom of God?” ▪