Every now and again when I (or some other lily-livered appeaser) suggest that the Bush administration sit down and try to negotiate with Iran over its nuclear program, someone points out that the United States already is talking to Iran, and already has offered lots of good things in exchange for disarmament. But that's not quite right. As the AP reported yesterday, Condoleezza Rice has categorically ruled out offering "a guarantee against attacking or undermining Iran's hard-line government in exchange for having Tehran curtail its nuclear program."
It's obvious that this is the one thing of value we can really offer Iran. The United States has already shown a propensity for abandoning all common sense and invading countries in the Middle East for no good reason. Absent guarantees that we won't do that again, it's not totally irrational that Iran wants a nuclear deterrent. Now granted, there's now nearly enough trust on either side at the moment for security guarantees to be very plausible. And maybe they wouldn't work. Nevertheless, so long as neither side is making any sort of move towards this eventual goal, all the various offers and counter-offers being floated in the press are simply charades.