Bret Stephens: Iran's Unrequited War





Mr. Stephens writes the Journal's "Global View" column on foreign affairs.

On Wednesday an Iranian-American named Manssor Arbabsiar pleaded guilty in federal court to conspiring with Iranian military officials to blow up a restaurant in Washington, D.C. On Saturday, the New York Times reported that the Obama administration and Iran had secretly agreed "in principle" to hold direct talks after the election, a disclosure to which the White House responded with a lawyerly denial.

And so it goes with U.S. policy toward Iran. They are at war with us. We seek bilateral negotiations and confidence-building measures with them.

That is a point that—as I write this column ahead of the final presidential debate—I hope to hear Mitt Romney hammer home when the subject of Iran inevitably comes up. Barack Obama told "60 Minutes" last month that "if Gov. Romney is suggesting we should start another war, he should say so." Sorry, Mr. President: When it comes to Iran, the mullahs started that war a long time ago. Wishing facts away doesn't change them.

Here's a list of the American victims of Iranian aggression...




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