Should the US be involved in direct negotiations with Iran?
Candidates' positions are categorized as Pro (Yes), Con (No), Not Clearly Pro or Con, or None Found. Candidates who have changed their positions are listed as Now their most recent position. Candidates are listed in alphabetical order by party; black & white photos indicate candidates who have withdrawn or who no longer meet our criteria.)
Bob Barr, former US House Representative (R-GA), in a Sep. 18, 2008 www.independentpoliticalreport.com article titled "Barr Says US Should Talk to Iran," stated:
"While the Bush administration has steadfastly declined to engage in talks with the government of Iran, five former Secretaries of State - Republican and Democrat - recently exhibited a great deal more judgment and understanding of world affairs in calling for actual talks with Tehran...
Talking does not mean sacrificing U.S. interests. Rather, talking is a means to further U.S. interests...
The failure to have serious and ongoing contact between the U.S. and Iranian governments makes any settlement much more difficult. One of the top priorities of a Barr administration would be to undertake a serious and substantive dialogue with Iran." Sep. 18, 2008 Bob Barr
[Editor's Note: Prior to John McCain's Sep. 26, 2008 Pro position, he has also expressed a Not Clearly Pro or Con position as indicated in a Dec 9, 2007 interview with Chris Wallace on FOX News Sunday]:
"The most overrated aspect of our dialogue about international relations is direct face-to-face talks. BlackBerries work. Emissaries work. There's many thousands of ways to communicate.
The question is are you going to have direct talks, and does that enhance the prestige of the president of Iran, who has said all these things about us, and has announced his country's continued distinction to the extinction of the state of Israel, or does it reach a successful conclusion?
That's the question you have to ask when you talk about, quote, 'face-to-face talks.'" Dec. 9, 2007 John McCain
Barack Obama, US Senator (D-IL), in the Sep. 26, 2008 presidential debate held at the University of Mississippi in Oxford, MS, stated:
"...[W]e are also going to have to, I believe, engage in tough direct diplomacy with Iran and this is a major difference I have with Senator McCain, this notion by not talking to people we are punishing them has not worked. It has not worked in Iran, it has not worked in North Korea. In each instance, our efforts of isolation have actually accelerated their efforts to get nuclear weapons. That will change when I'm president of the United States." Sep. 26, 2008 Barack Obama
(Candidates who have withdrawn or who no longer meet our criteria appear below in black and white and in alphabetical order by party.)