Guldimann Memo Redux
Letter to the Editor

Resident Scholar Michael Rubin
Resident Scholar
Michael Rubin

[USA Today reporter] Barbara Slavin is wrong. In a May 4, 2003, cover letter, Tim Guldimann writes that he developed the proposal in conversation with Sadegh Kharrazi. Other reporters recognized the red herrings involved in the Guldimann offer:

1. Most diplomatic correspondence is signed; Guldimann's memo was not.

2. Real diplomatic correspondence is on official letterhead; the Iranian offer was not.

3. Governments do not send proposals with which they disagree; at his 2003 meetings, Guldimann said the proposal had the "80 percent" acceptance of the Iranian government. He did not know with which portions they disagreed.

Nor can Slavin explain why Guldimann would pass an Iranian offer to undersecretary-level American officials when British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw was an established go-between with the Iranian foreign minister on sensitive American issues. There was already direct dialogue between the United States and Iran above Guldimann's and Sadegh Kharrazi's level; indeed, American and Iranian officials had met in Geneva the day before Guldimann unveiled his proposal.

Slavin has been misled by her sources. Former Iranian UN ambassador Mohammad Javad Zarif represents the Islamic Republic's interests. He lied when he promised a month prior to the start of the Iraq war that the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps would remain outside Iraq. And, when he sees the opportunity to use credulous journalists to pour fuel on the political fires, he does not hesitate.

Michael Rubin is a resident scholar at AEI.

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About the Author

 

Michael
Rubin


  • Michael Rubin is a former Pentagon official whose major research areas are the Middle East, Turkey, Iran and diplomacy. Rubin instructs senior military officers deploying to the Middle East and Afghanistan on regional politics, and teaches classes regarding Iran, terrorism, and Arab politics on board deploying U.S. aircraft carriers. Rubin has lived in post-revolution Iran, Yemen, both pre- and post-war Iraq, and spent time with the Taliban before 9/11. His newest book, Dancing with the Devil: The Perils of Engagement examines a half century of U.S. diplomacy with rogue regimes and terrorist groups.


    Follow Michael Rubin on Twitter.


  • Phone: 202-862-5851
    Email: mrubin@aei.org
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    Name: Ahmad Majidyar
    Phone: 202-862-5845
    Email: ahmad.majidyar@aei.org

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