Iran says Obama sent them a back-channel letter. Obama says he didn't. I think he did.
I cannot speak to the existence of the letter; but I can speak to the overt psychological profile of the President as regards the purported contents of the letter.
It exactly follows the President's propensity to attempt to diffuse difficult situations by resorting to back-room diplomacy – such as calling a 'beer summit' – and similar past actions. Therefore, it would be very surprising to me to learn that exactly such a letter as described by Mehmanparast was not sent. The denial can be treated separately, but that is beyond the scope of this note.
It seems unlikely that Jalal Talabani would have been given access to the letter to deliver to Iran.
The spin by the Iranian government is complete nonsense – but, if the letter exists, conclusions can be drawn.
First: The US will not strike the Iranian nuclear industry overtly without a pretext. Both China and Russia have nixed that idea. The US will, however, support an Israeli strike and the planning for that eventuality must be complete by this point in time. Such a strike would cause more problems than it cured.
Secondly: Regardless of the ISIS projections, Iran has access to nuclear weapons. Either it's own, or via Pakistan. That's why we are poised over Pakistan and that's why Iranian scientists are being blown up very publicly. I doubt that Iran has a serious delivery capability unless it obtained some of the 72 Russian Sunburn missiles that were delivered to Syria by November of last year. The military exercises it conducts are all show – but it could quite easily close the strait of Hormuz. Not as easily as Egypt closed the Suez canal, but probably long enough to disrupt the world into bankruptcy. A few motorboats and some yellow cans painted to look like mines – interspersed with a few real mines – would do it. ~Exactly~ what we saw in the last Iranian naval exercise. That message cannot have been lost on anyone.
It appears that the Islamic states are individually acquiring pieces of a pie to toss at Israel and, to use another terrible aphorism, the US doesn't have enough fingers to plug the dike. A nuclear-tipped Sunburn MIRV fired from anywhere in western Syria would impact in Israel within a few seconds of a launch detection. Therefore Assad in Syria must be overthrown so Israel can expand, but there really isn't anywhere for them to go. We can no longer overthrow every government in the middle east (or anywhere else) and install puppet leaders. We have done that quite a lot. People are catching on.
The fact that Iran is constructing centrifuges is probably meaningless – as are the on- again /off- again inspections. Pakistan has had centrifuges since 1976 and has had thousands of them in operation since at least 1984 – and a full-scale nuclear weapons industry since at least 1991. Pakistan and Iran share a border. Pakistan, Iran and Afghanistan share a border. I will be surprised if our troops aren't trapped in Afghanistan one of these fine days. We might not be able to get them out.
Obama wrote the letter. He doesn't know what else to do.
90% of success is showing up. Getting the math right is the other 50%.
Aut viam inveniam aut faciamaut viam inveniam aut faciam.