Condoleezza Rice just really pissed off John Bolton, whom TWN has learned is seething about Rice’s offer of direct negotiations with Iran.
There is a long, long way to go in our haggling with Iran over its nuclear program whether it is through indirect negotiations via Europe, direct negotiations, or resolutions and eventual sanctions via the U.N.
However, Rice not only has to manage the Iranian response to her initiative but has to manage Vice President Cheney’s team — including John Bolton — who will try to undermine her at every step.
The President had to sign off on this initiative, but what is not clear is whether he is going to give his complete support to Rice or whether he is going to sit on a perch while his closest advisors slash each other over this.
More later. Heading to Athens tonight.
— Steve Clemons