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This evening’s breaking news, that the Obama Administration has been involved in secret negotiations with the Iranians over the possibility of face to face talks promises to be a vital event in the last weeks of the 2012 presidential election, coming so close to the final presidential debate, scheduled for Monday night.

The possibility of a fabled ‘October Surprise’ has loomed large ever since the president’s numbers began to tank following his poor first debate performance. Many of us have speculated privately and in public as to what form this may take. A mysterious countdown clock has recently appeared on the Internet promising a mysterious revelation.
Now, however, it has been revealed by the New York Times.

That indeed, should tell us something. The paper is hardly a friend to Republican candidates, and as one of the most reputable international newspapers, the story was guaranteed to make a splash heading into the Sunday news shows.

The news threatens to impact both the US election and the election in Israel, since Netanyahu will doubtless be unhappy with the concept of negotiations with a nation that has discussed removing Israel from the face of the Earth.

Of more immediate concern is the impact that this could have on the US presidential election. With Election Day drawing closer and Romney surging in the polls (including in Ohio) the release of this story must be suspect and raises once again the issue of national security leaks from the Obama White House.

How Romney chooses to react will be telling, and react he must, for the final debate focuses on foreign policy. According to the New York Times story, the Iranians have reservations about Romney. Could the Republicans suggest that it is fear of a GOP victory that has inspired this move? This is doubtless incorrect, but may be spun this way.

More likely, this is yet another move by Tehran to divide opinion and sew the seeds of doubt into potential adversaries. Put another way, Lucy has once more placed the ball in front of Charlie Brown. We know what happens next…

The move has dramatically raised the stakes, however, ensuring the Monday’s debate could be the most pivotal ever held since the live televised coverage began in 1960.