Obama's challenge in Iran

How President Obama should respond to Iran's satellite launch

"Joe Biden was right," said William Kristol in The Weekly Standard. Barack Obama has barely had time to unpack at the White House, and he's being tested abroad. The Iranian regime has been preemptively scorning Obama's overtures, and last Tuesday reported it had launched a satellite into orbit, making clear that Iran intends to build missiles capable of delivering nuclear warheads.

Iran's big show may have impressed the Iranian public and scared the country's neighbors, said The Boston Globe in an editorial, but it should not deter Obama from trying to open a dialogue with Tehran. The Bush administration attempt to isolate Iran only allowed it to build its regional power and get closer to enriching enough uranium to build a nuclear bomb.

Negotiations won't be easy, said The New York Times in an editorial. Hard-liners in Iran will "try to sabotage an opening that would require making concessions" on their missile and nuclear programs. And "strong voices in Washington" will object, some even demanding the "disastrous" military option. But engaging Iran is worth a try.

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The time is indeed right for a policy change, said Michael Ledeen in The Wall Street Journal. But the smart move is to start really supporting "Iranians against their oppressors." This launch just showed that, with collapsing oil prices ruining Iran's economy, the mullahs are getting desperate for a miracle.

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