It's also worth noting the history of the subject, namely Ahmadinejad himself. Much has been made about his appearance at Columbia, ranging from slight criticism to a debate on DailyKos as to whether he is hot or not. Seriously. However, no matter the extent of the delusion indulged by my liberal friends, the fact is that Ahmadinejad, has previously threatened to "wipe Israel off the map" and even this week raised his own questions as to whether the Holocaust ever happened ("it needs more study"). This is the president of a country whose military is actively killing Americans in Iraq right now. Shame on Columbia for giving this man any platform, which has served not to open any "dialogue" but instead made him more accessible and appear more human to the more presently-focused, dynamically inconsistent among us here in the US. It's too bad confusion can't be burned like oil, because right now there is no shortage of it here in the US.
Some will point out the supposed hypocrisy of my position, as I am a citizen of the single most nuclear capable country in the world. Moral relativism abounds. Bush isn't the despot that Ahmadinejad and his Mullaharchy are, despite the impassioned claims to the contrary by my friends on the left. For all our ills, the U.S. has managed to keep our finger off that button for over 60 years. Can we, more importantly, should we, entrust this same capability to the Iranians?
It's true that Iran isn't a "suicide country," and the Iranian people are not all of the jihadist ilk. But Iran's leaders have sent plenty of signals, by their words and actions, that they are sympathetic with the Islamic terrorist 'struggle' against the US. War within Iran's borders would be very tough for the US to engage in, even with unlikely multilateral support. (Incidentally, it's worth noting that UN support is unlikely mainly because of the greed of various UN Security Counsel members, not because of a lack of agreement regarding the seriousness of the issue). So what are we to do?
We need to engage Iran, but not in terms of appeasement or pleading with them to cooperate. The U.S. can offer security guarantees with the full backing of the US military and guarantee petrol, provided Iran completely drops any nuclear aspirations. We also need to fix the problems in the UN that keep the security counsel from doing its job (namely applying sanction-based pressure). Without sanction based pressure looming over Iran, any attempt to engage Iran by the US or by the UN will be futile - any deal must be backed with the threat of intense economic and other sanctions.