The U.S. has stepped back twice from dialogues with Iran, once in late 2001 and more recently earlier this year. Formidable players in the adminstration, including the VP, do not seemed to be persuaded by arguments for dialogue with Iran. The great paradox of the Bush adminstration's policy is that it has elevated Iran's geopolitical importance and buttressed Iran's power, and spurning dialogue will not erase the paradox. Even with a serious dialogue between Tehran and Washington, reconciling Israeli and Iranian interests may well require a more sustained effort than Bush and his team can deliver.
The Daily Star - Opinion Articles - Imposing stability from Tehran to Tel Aviv: "The Bush administration may not like the Iranian regime, but it seems to know a brick wall when it sees one. The American decision to engage Iran directly is a healthy indicator that Washington is prepared to establish a basis for examining a range of security concerns seriously. It is also all to the good that Washington took this step not because it wanted to but rather because the reality of Iranian power compelled it to."