In a moment of candour, Robert Gates, the US Defence Secretary has admitted albeit implicitly that the Bush administration's diplomacy towards Iran has long been a sham: "If there is going to be a discussion, then they need something, too. We can't go to a discussion and be completely the demander, with them not feeling that they need anything from us," he stated  in his address to a group of retired American diplomats on May 14.
Lamenting also that the US may have squandered an opportunity to engage with Iran under President Khatami's government, Gates' striking assertion echoes the confession of several European diplomats to Asia Times Online on 7th September 2005. For the first time, they admitted that the package offered by the EU-3 in their so-called negotiations with Iran over its nuclear programme was "an empty box of chocolate” and that “there is nothing else we can offer." The diplomats went on to say : "The Americans simply wouldn't let us.">>>