Well, this is a genuinely unexpected turn of events. From The Guardian:
Futher, Ahmadinejad is not opposed to the idea of talking with the U.S.
The US plans to establish a diplomatic presence in Tehran for the first time in 30 years as part of a remarkable turnaround in policy by President George Bush.
The Guardian has learned that an announcement will be made in the next month to establish a US interests section - a halfway house to setting up a full embassy. The move will see US diplomats stationed in the country.
The news of the shift by Bush who has pursued a hawkish approach to Iran throughout his tenure comes at a critical time in US-Iranian relations. After weeks that have seen tensions rise with Israel conducting war games and Tehran carrying out long-range missile tests, a thaw appears to be under way.
The White House announced yesterday that William Burns, a senior state department official, is to be sent to Switzerland on Saturday to hear Tehran's response to a European offer aimed at resolving the nuclear standoff.
It seems, on the surface at least, that the more "rational" factions of the administration and the military (Gates, Rice, Mullen, etc.) have won a significant victory over the bloodthirsty-deranged faction led by Cheney.
How will this play out? In one of two ways: either this is a genuine diplomatic overture that will lead to a "thaw" in relations with Iran in the near future, or it's a complete front designed to silence those critics who have called for more diplomacy with Iran (Iran will inevitably refuse to meet some kind of unattainable "demand" set by the U.S., Bush and company will say "I told you so", and then tell us that war is now the only option).
It's almost impossible not to be cynical about anything Bush does, but we can at least hope for the best. Actually, at this point, that's pretty much all we can do.