M. Ahmadi Nejad and G. W. Bush

The Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadi Nejad had called, in a press conference, for a public TV debate with United States president George W. Bush.

The White House dismissed the invitation as "just a diversion from the legitimate concerns that the international community, not just the US, has about Iran's behaviour." It's probably worth noting here that what the US speaker refers to as "the international community" is only a handful of countries, namely Great Britain, the US, France and Germany; that's only 4 (6 if you count Russian and China) countries out of about 200 and is, in my opinion, a very long way from being "the international community".

This is not the first invitation of direct discussions with the US Administration which the Iranian president made. President Mahmoud Ahmadi Nejad already wrote an 18-page letter to his American counterpart about a similar topic 4 months back. The letter had seen a similar fate to the public debate: turned down.

I think this could have been a golden opportunity to ease the tensions between Iran and the US. I'm sure there are tons of mis-understanding piled up on both sides, since we're still talking about the "Great Satan" on one side and the "Axis of Evil" on the other.

On a less serious note, I believe that the US Administration is right about avoiding this confrontation: George W. Bush, who is not well known for his eloquent speeches, will certainly have a hard time talking about World affairs with a Civil Engineer who holds a MSc and a PhD in transportation systems? Even the CNN readers think their president doesn't stand a chance.

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