As a follow-up to the meeting in May between American and Iranian officials over the future of Iraq, the US wants more direct talks with Iran. As we all know, just as we know that the sun sets to the west, the American Iraq adventure isn't going all that well. The US scores a few political points domestically by insisting that Iran provides material and moral support to the Shiite side of the insurgency, which it obviously does. But this is really less of a short-term concern than a longer-term one. The insurgency is diverse and complex, but from what I can tell via news accounts and discussions with people who have been on the ground there, the Shiites are hardly the root cause of violence in Iraq. The longer-term strategy for the US is what? To avoid Iranian influence in Iraq? That influence was a foregone conclusion as soon as the US invaded.
Meanwhile, the US seeks to destabilize the Iranian regime through a combination of international diplomatic rhetoric, and covert actions within Iran. The US has been recently making noise again about attacking Iran, which, apparently, Cheney in particular, is itching to do.
As with all diplomacy, some attractive offers have to be on the table as incentives for each party to come to the table. The linked article, however, only discusses all the rough and tumble demands the US wants to make to Iran. As discussed earlier (here and here), the Iranian regime is not foolhardy, as they are so often portrayed in the US media.
So, here's the question: what is on the table for Iran?