Campaign 2008 saw the now President elect Obama declare an initiative to take on Iran in a diplomatic sense without pre-conditions. Personally, I wholeheartedly agree with this approach as I view the popular apocalyptic assumptions regarding Iran's nuclear program to be a bit sensational and not at all in line with reality. In short, the nihilism attributed to the "mullacracy" is greatly exaggerated, despite the rantings of the popular mouthpiece that is President Ahmadinejad.
However, Obama will likely face a hawkish Israeli opposition to diplomacy.
A Dialog poll of 422 respondents showed Likud winning 36 of parliament's 120 seats if elections were to be held today, up from 34 in the previous poll. A Dahaf Research Institute poll of 503 people showed Likud slipping to 31 seats from 32. Either outcome would put Likud in a strong position to form the next coalition government. The margins of error were 5.8 percent and 4.3 percent, respectively.Let's not forget Likud chairman, Benjamin Netanyahu's rhetoric conflating Iran with the rise of Nazism in 1938:
It's 1938 and Iran is Germany. And Iran is racing to arm itself with atomic bombs...Clearly the first hurtle for the Obama administration regarding diplomatic talks with Iran is pacifying the likely incoming parliamentary succession of the Likud party, who, logically, envision a preemptive measure to destroy Iran's nuclear ambitions before those ambitions can destroy their own state. The incoming Obama administration is tasked with presenting a strong enough argument to convince Iran's go to rhetorical arch-enemy that the immediacy of preemption should await diplomacy. Best of luck to President elect Obama in this endeavor and I very much hope that it works.
12/17/08: An incredibly late addendum to this post:
President Elect Obama offers Israel a Nuclear Umbrella
A stage 1 approach to setting the foundation for diplomacy regarding Iran, by my measure. Smart.