Given that Vice President Joe Biden has made no subtle indications that he may run for president in 2016, seeing him assume high visibility roles in critical foreign policy negotiations lends significance.
Secretary Kerry and Joe Biden are seasoned and trusted members of the Obama cabinet, while Chuck Hagel will be a newbie. Watch the power shift.
The subject is Iran and direct negotiations. What is to negotiate?
The US and most sane nations don’t want Iran to develop nuclear weapons. That option that they continue to pursue is off the table to begin with. The issue is they must stop to prevent military action that will set them back.
Iran’s radical regime is like al Qaeda on steroids. Would we negotiate with the al Qaeda? The answer is no.
Only when citizens inside Iran come to their senses and force their own regime change can their be productive new relationship building. The leadership in Iran today cannot be trusted in any matter, so what is the point in using the term, “negotiation”?
Ali Khamenei, member of the Combatant Clergy Association or Militant Clergy Association is on point for Iran.
"Biden raises possibility of direct U.S.-Iran talks
By Adrian Croft and Myra MacDonald
MUNICH | Sat Feb 2, 2013 8:56am EST
(Reuters) - The United States is ready to hold direct talks with Iran if it is serious about negotiations, Vice President Joe Biden said on Saturday, backing bilateral contacts that many see as crucial to easing an international dispute over Tehran's nuclear program.
Speaking at a security conference in Munich, Biden said Iran - which says it is enriching uranium for peaceful energy only - now faced "the most robust sanctions in history" meant to ensure it does not use its program to develop nuclear weapons.
"But we have also made clear that Iran's leaders need not sentence their people to economic deprivation and international isolation," Biden said. "There is still time, there is still space for diplomacy backed by pressure to succeed. The ball is in the government of Iran's court."
To date, fitful talks on Iran's nuclear program have been between Tehran and the EU's top diplomat representing six world powers including Washington. But analysts have suggested that with his re-election behind him, President Barack Obama might have more leeway to take on direct negotiations with Iran.
That makes the year ahead critical for chances of overcoming a stand-off which, if left to fester further, could see Iran approach a nuclear weapons capability and possibly provoking military action by Israel that could inflame the Middle East.
Progress on Iran would also help ease regional tensions as the United States prepares to pull most combat troops out of Iran's neighbor Afghanistan by the end of 2014.
Asked whether Washington might consider direct talks with Iran to smooth the process, Biden said, "When the Iranian leadership, Supreme Leader (Ayatollah Ali Khamenei), is serious."