White House on lookout for European leader to tackle Khamenei
In the hope of saving the foundering nuclear talks with Tehran, the White House is looking for a European leader of high caliber to tackle Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, DEBKAfile reports. Both Khamenei and Iran’s president Hassan Rouhani said this week that they are not optimistic about the outcome of the nuclear talks, which resume Wednesday with the big powers. The mass anti-American demonstrations in Tehran Monday also indicated that the hardliners’ hand against negotiations was gaining ground. The Obama administration’s dilemma is that even if a highly reputable European leader can be found to approach Khamenei directly for a bid to salvage nuclear diplomacy, any such leader will think twice about the dual risk of a rebuff by the ayatollah or mission failure.