Armitage Says Talk With Iran

Let our journalists help you make sense of the noise: Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter and get a recap of news that matters.

Well here’s at least one semi-sane Republican voice speaking up (not that anyone needs to be a fan of Richard Armitage):

Richard Armitage, deputy secretary of state during President George W. Bush’s first term, has urged the Bush administration to hold talks with Iran over its nuclear programme.

Mr Armitage said Washington would benefit from talking to Tehran on a range of issues, including Iran’s nuclear aspirations. The Bush administration has so far resisted calls from its European allies to engage Iran directly over its alleged nuclear weapons programme.

“It merits talking to the Iranians about the full range of our relationship… everything from energy to terrorism to weapons to Iraq,” Mr Armitage told the Financial Times in an interview. “We can be diplomatically astute enough to do it without giving anything away.”

Yes, exactly. Why not try? At worst, talks with Iran fail, and the U.S. is right back where it is now, at an impasse. So why not? The Bush administration reportedly doesn’t want to negotiate with Iran because that would amount to appeasement of an evil regime. But we already appease evil regimes. We send (innocent) terrorist suspects to Syria to be beaten with electrical cables. We give $1 billion a year to Egypt, home of “widespread and systematic” torture. Our dear friends in Saudi Arabia have 126 children on death row, among other atrocities. And let’s not get started on Dubai. You can disagree with the decision to support these countries so strongly—I certainly do—but either way, it’s not like appeasement is unprecedented for this administration. And there’s a better case for making nice when it comes to Iran, because it could be the only way to avoid a very catastrophic war. So again: why not try?


Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

payment methods

We Recommend