Sadly Ahmadinejad was still finishing up his term and could not be appointed the US Special Envoy to Afghanistan. So Obama had to settle for James Dobbins.
With little comment from conservative media, President Obama last week appointed James Dobbins as special envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan, the high-profile job long occupied by the late Richard Holbrooke.
Kerry made this clear while announcing the appointment. He said, “He [Dobbins] has deep and longstanding relationships in the region … Jim will continue building on diplomatic efforts to bring the conflict to a peaceful conclusion, actively engaging with states in the region and the international community.”
Secretary Kerry was referring, evidently, to Dobbins “deep and longstanding relationship” with Iran.
As Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs and general troubleshooter in the George W. Bush administration, Dobbins proposed to jointly train the Afghan army with Iran. As he said in Congressional testimony in 2007:
“Iranian participation, under American leadership, in a joint program of this sort would be a breathtaking departure after more than 20 years mutual hostility.”
Breathtaking departure would be the word.
Dobbins is a prominent exponent of the idea that America can live with a nuclear Iran, as well as an opponent of the use of military force against Iran’s nuclear program under any conditions.
There he co-authored a 2011 monograph entitled, “Coping with a Nuclearizing Iran.” In effect, the Dobbins report proposes a don’t ask, don’t tell approach to Iran’s acquisition of nuclear weapons.
Dobbins has argued forcefully and frequently against the use of military force against Iran under any circumstances. In a Nov. 16, 2011 article for US News and World Report entitled, “An Attack Would Only Strengthen Iran’s Influence.”
There are plenty of diplomatic jobs that we could just outsource to Saudi Arabia instead of paying lavish salaries to diplomats who only repeat Saudi talking points. It would seem that we could just as easily outsource James Dobbins’ job to Iran.