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Nyt Pushes Obama On Iran

The NYT edit board is getting impatient:

After 30 years of mutual isolation, we fully support Mr. Obama’s constructive tone and efforts to engage the mullah-led government. But we wonder whether this incremental, seemingly ad hoc approach is best....

Anecdotal evidence suggests that the Iranian people are eager for contact. But Iranian officials, who have long used their hatred of the Great Satan to justify their repression and failed policies, seem at best ambivalent. They certainly took pains to play down the brief encounter with Mr. Holbrooke, and have dismissed Mr. Obama’s outreach as too little.

Iran has elections this June, and there may be an argument for waiting to see how they play out. But we suspect that subtle and tentative approaches are not going to change much in Tehran.

Mr. Obama will soon have to decide whether to go for a potentially game-changing gesture — like offering to open an interests section or sending his secretary of state to Tehran.

 Hillary to Tehran--now that would be dramatic.

--Michael Crowley