|"Only dull people are brilliant at breakfast"
|"The liberal soul shall be made fat, and he that watereth, shall be watered also himself."
-- Proverbs 11:25
He made the final decision only after telephone calls with President Vladimir Putin of Russia and Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany, led him to conclude that if Tehran refused to suspend its enrichment of uranium, or later dragged its feet, they would support an escalating series of sanctions against Iran at the United Nations that could lead to a confrontation.
An extensive interview given by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov to the Russian media, the full transcript of which has been seen by Asia Times Online, throws much light on the state of play in the Iran nuclear issue.
His remarks illuminate the paucity of options that the United States has left itself in dealing with the issue. Washington's May 31 offer to engage in direct talks with Tehran is in fact its only real option - in Lavrov's words, "a victory of common sense".
At the same time, Lavrov exposes as grandstanding many of the statements emanating from the administration of US President George W Bush about the talks offer. Moscow, it emerges, was not consulted on the matter, and is not party to any tacit agreement on imposing sanctions on Iran, despite Washington's spin to this effect. In other words, an increasingly isolated United States finds itself with very little room left to maneuver, let alone impose its will on an increasingly multipolar world.[emphasis mine]