So first of all we have Gates sounding dovish on Iran:
We need to figure out a way to develop some leverage with the Iranians and then sit down and talk with them. ... If there is going to be a discussion then they need something, too. We can't go to a discussion and be completely the 'demandeur' with them not feeling they do not need anything from us.
Pretty intelligent stuff, coinciding as it does with suggestions from Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov that the world powers negotiating with Iran ought to give Iran some incentives:
I think the 'Six' could make the following step: directly put concrete offers on the negotiating table, give Iran security guarantees and ensure a more distinguished place in negotiations on the situation in the Middle East. I am convinced that this is an effective way of relieving tensions in the region and regulating the situation surrounding Iran's nuclear problem.
Even more sensible. Does this mean something is going on? I continue to argue that the United States is not going to war with Iran: not now, not later this year, and not in 2009 (unless Senator McCain is president). That doesn't mean that tensions with Iran won't rise in 2008, especially if the White House wants to use escalating tensions with Iran to boost McCain's electoral prospects.