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“Mr. Obama and Iran”

Two editorials by The New York Times discuss the talks that the Obama administration has planned with Iran; “Mr. Obama and Iran” does not explain thoroughly how Washington should interfere but in the other article “Talk to Iran. Then What”, it states that there is all this talk about having ’talks’ with Iran but nothing specific has been planned and imposes the question of how much should we compromise to come to an agreement. In the editorial titled “Mr. Obama and Iran”, the editor writes that former president Bush failed policies in Iran has led them very close to mastering the skills needed to build a nuclear weapon- the skill of mastering nuclear fuel production.

The writer backs up his claim by stating that Iran’s scientist have already advanced by putting a satellite in orbit which is a huge sign that their missile program is moving forward. His other claim is that there has to be a mixture of incentives and sanctions to take away Iran’s nuclear ambitions. He goes on to say that the Bush administration never made any attempts to offer the Iranian government any incentives. However, he gives no evidence to support that for sure that Bush never made any attempts.

His opinion is that the agenda for talks will be much easier if it included Afghanistan and Iraq. The editor shows very strong evidence that in the past, in 1998 Iran’s fundamentalist Shiite government almost went to war with Afghanistan’s own fundamentalist Taliban. The U.S. interfered and forced the Taliban to back out, with the help from Tehran helping Washington make a new Afghanistan government. However this plan didn’t end up working because there were accusations that the Iranians were supporting the Taliban’s to keep the Americans off their radar. The Osama administration needs to remind Iran again that it is in their best interest that Iraq is defeated and for the Afghanistan’s to be more stabilized.

In the other article published by the New York Times as well, the writer comments that Obama’s presidential campaign came up with specific tactics to prevent Iran from its nuclear weapon plans but failed to answer the important questions such as: “What should the United States demand when it finally talks with Iran? And when Iran rejects our opening position, how much should we compromise to come to a deal?”(Rademaker). He supports this by putting out the fact that in the past Iran has rejected the United Nations, insisting that Iran suspend their nuclear plans to enrich uranium. The Obama administration will probably propose this negotiation again and Iran will likely reject it again. “So what then?” is the question (Rademaker). He explains that Congress will ask themselves: Are we demanding too much?

He argues that time is definitely on Iran’s side because they had 164 centrifuges in 2006 and now they have about 5,000. So the question is “How can we cut the best deal now, even if it allows Iran to continue enriching?”. He says that critics will propose two fallbacks if Iran doesn’t agree the first time: allowing enrichment but at the same time using international safeguards that can spot the development of nuclear weapons, or proposing that uranium be only used for multinational programs operated by various countries. The problem with this proposal is that the countries near that regions around Iran will demand the same treatment, but that would not be a good thing especially if countries like Syria that is not friendly to Americans, will enrich uranium as much as they can. Stephen Rademaker concludes his editorial by saying that if Obama finds a way to obtain a negotiation with Iran, that may be his one of his greatest achievements during his presidency.

In conclusion I feel that the second article by Stephen Rademaker is much more convincing because he gives more specific evidence to back up his opinion. For instance, he writes that Washington as well as the Obama campaign have made statements that there will be talks to with Iran to prevent them from pursuing their nuclear interests but the question of what kind of talks has not been answered. While reading the first article, I was expecting more information, I felt as if I only read a part of the article. Rademaker’s editorial asks the question of what kind of demands will the United States impose if it rejects once again, the limitation or uranium enrichment. Another example where he uses specific examples is if the United Nations and the United States allow Iran to enrich uranium, in any way, it will be impossible to deny surrounding countries the same treatment. The weakness of this editorial, however, asks too many questions which leaves the reader confused as to if it is supposed to be for the reader or it is the editors own questions. The strengths are the explanation with statements that can be verified, because they actually happened in the past. That is the editors main argument- that Washington should come up with other proposals that have not been rejected in the past to ensure a compromise with Iran.

In the first article, the editor writes, “We don’t know if there is any mixture of incentives or sanctions that can wean Iran of its nuclear ambitions…But we are certain that the Bush Administration never tried to find it”(Mr. Obama and Iran). While that may be true, it is something that Americans already know. It is still clear that there is still disagreements with the United States and Iran so there is no need of a reminder. Instead the editor should have explained how the Obama Administration can learn from Bush Administration and propose what kind of talks should occur. The article is concluded with, “Mr. Obama can make a compelling argument that it is in Iran’s strategic interest to join negotiations intended to guarantee Iraq’s long-term stability and sovereignty”(Mr. Obama and Iran). However there isn’t an elaboration on that.

Although both articles are well written the one that convinces me the most is “Talk to Iran. Then What?” because it is more persuasive. The author does his research to prove his point. The other article I feel, just states facts things the public already knows. His opinion I believe is something that has been already heard on the news and on the radio. Stephen Rademaker gives a different point of view to his audience. Regardless if the reader disagrees with his opinion, his article is more likely to be chosen as more credible because the author shows he knows what he is talking about.

Works Cited
“Mr. Obama and Iran”. The New York Times. 9 Feb. 2009: A22.
Rademaker, Stephen. “Talk to Iran. Then What?”. The New York Times. 9 Feb. 2009: A21.