The Islamic regime in Iran is an illegitimate regime; it is tyrannical; it violates human rights; and it sponsors terrorism. You don't negotiate with such regimes. After all the West's qualms with this regime is not about economic issues or territorial matters or such like! It is about the very issues of democracy, freedom and human rights and above all, their sponsorship of terrorism that threatens the West’s democracy and civilisations.
If you negotiated with Iran, what concessions would you be prepared to make in order to avoid the ultimate confrontations? If you are going to concede to the regime’s despotic rule and violations of human rights at home in return for their stopping to sponsor terrorism abroad, then you have failed to uphold the very moral and humanitarian principles of democracy and human rights and shot yourself in the foot. The regime will declare a victory over the USA; it will carry on its atrocities against the Iranians; and will have plenty of time to develop the dreadful atomic bomb they so badly strive for. In any case, the Islamic regime’s fundamental determination is a global Islamic rule. It is on that basis they thrive and it is on that basis they rule. The regime, under the banner of global Islam that will save the world, has managed to collect a few terrorist supporters and apologists. No one else supports the Islamic regime. In Iran, there may additionally be a few recently-become-middleclass who are principally opposed to the regime but may in fact support the regime because they are happy with the status quo, and because they are economically in a good position.
The West cannot do a Libya with the Islamic regime, because the Islamic regime is not a one-man dictatorship. There are too many Ayatollahs each one of them with a huge ego. Ruling Iran is not enough for them. They have to go beyond the Iranian boarders. The regime pays more attention to its foreign interventions and policies than the domestic issues. When two parties in a dispute come to a position of negotiation, in my experience, they have reached a position where they see a good chance of losing the dispute in the final confrontation. The parties then prepare an agenda for negotiations and make a list of items they are prepared to make some concessions on. In this case, it is hard to believe that the Islamic regime will be prepared to concede to stopping sponsoring terrorism and halting its nuclear activities and the reason is this: their Islam is a global ideology and it is incompatible with democracy and human rights as we know them. The fanatical Muslims who follow this version of Islam are bonded together in a brotherhood that obliges them to support each other whenever and wherever and which goes beyond boarders. It is inconceivable that the Islamic regime not only will not support the Muslims who are fighting the Western values to establish their own democratically and human rights incompatible principles around the globe, but also identify and hand them to the authorities. Such concession by the Islamic regime will be regarded as the greatest betrayal by all Muslims around the world. So, let’s not kid ourselves that we can make deals with the regime. The ex-president Khatami’s “cultural dialogue” is a proof of the regime’s cultural – in addition to its political, economic and military – efforts to establish itself as the leader of the Muslim world that wants to globally institutionalise the medieval Islamic laws and rules.
The Palestinian issue is like the umbilical cord feeding the regime the survival nourishment it needs. And in return the regime supplies the Hezbullah in Lebanon with warfare, money and intelligence. This is a testimony that the regime sees its survival in the continuance of this beyond the borders nexus. The regime’s support for the Hezbullah and other Islamic terrorist organisations unify the Mullahs and distract them from jumping at each other’s throats. Confide the Mullahs to Iran only and they will soon blow each other up. However, the West will never be able to confide the Mullahs to Iran only. The Mullahs will never concede to that because, the very essence of their ideology is to resurrect Islam as the saviour of mankind. If they cannot export Islam beyond the Iranian borders, then they have failed big time. The existence of the Islamic regime, thanks to Jimmy Carter and the American foreign policy of the time is a bitter reality that we are all left to deal with. And the time has come to deal with them appropriately and that is...well, no one seems to know but for goodness sake don't ask Carter & Co.