My brief prediction regarding this tidbit of news:
The United States is willing to join European nations in direct talks with Iran if the Iranian government first agrees to suspend its programs to enrich uranium and reprocess spent nuclear fuel, activities that Washington charges are part of plans to build nuclear weapons.
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice scheduled a news briefing for today to announce the shift in U.S. policy toward Iran, and the State Department released excerpts of her remarks as prepared for delivery.
"To underscore our commitment to a diplomatic solution and to enhance prospects for success, as soon as Iran fully and verifiably suspends its enrichment and reprocessing activities, the United States will come to the table," Rice says in her prepared text. "We hope that in the coming days, the Iranian government will thoroughly consider this proposal."
The prediction: Iran will balk. The loudest voices in the U.K., Germany, France and the United Nations will blame the Bush administration.
On paper, this is a good idea, for demonstrating to the world that Iran is not serious about negotiations. But, as David Frum observed, most of the world's elites already see that negotiations have failed, that the Iranians are hell-bent on getting a nuke, and that Ahmedinijad is the most dangerous world leader to come along in quite some time. But they just can't make the next step - recognizing that the remaining options are a tough trade war or military action.