"Iran feels fairly ascendant...and so they're always willing in principal to negotiate if it's to accept your surrender, but if it's on the terms that the US and others would seek which is 'Hey, hey Iran, here's what you need to do,' they're not interested.""Accept your surrender"?! Does either Hansen or Krepon interject to say, "Whoa, wait a minute; the US position on negotiation with Iran is that to talk Iran must capitulate on the core issue of uranium enrichment. Isn't that a surrender and then we'll talk position?" Do either of them even ask politely, "Could you give one example of Iran asking for surrender?" But wait, Perkovich isn't done; he continues:
"The Iranians pretty much quit negotiating in the summer of 2005...have taken the position of we're going to do what we want and you can't stop us. So it would be kind of a breakthrough if actually they decided yes, we're prepared to negotiate...."and
"I think Secretary of Defense Robert Gates has testified...Iran fundamentally is deterrable. The problem is that Israel isn't as convinced of that - and has reason not to be so convinced - so one thought is the Israelis might come to a crucial existential decision which says, well you can't just sit here and let them do that, so military action may not be perfect, may not solve the problem, but it's better than doing nothing."Existential? You have to wonder about these kind of buzz words, especially when they originate out of the White House; and you have to question the integrity of a scholar who is simply willing to pick up such language and run with it. Again, neither of the other participants in this otherworldly exchange suggest that actually Iran may be undergoing a bit of an existential threat when it considers what's "on the table": the US blessings of liberty bestowed on Iraq and Israel's gentle interventions in Lebanon in '82 and '06 (not to mention Israel's arsenal of peaceful nuclear weapons).
Oddly, both speakers eventually indicate that they think the military option and the threat to use it is not such a great idea. However, that gets buried under the bulk of their discussion which demonizes Iran and makes the case for justifying a US/Israel military option.