Longtime Iran observer Shaul Bakhash enumerates the pros and cons of a new negotiating effort with Iran. He concludes:
There are clearly men in Khamenei’s inner circle who are urging him to at least test the waters with the United States; and he may have allowed them to publicly discuss the possibility, even the desirability, of direct talks. It is also conceivable that Khamenei will find acceptable a deal which gives the United States most of what it wants but which he can present to Iranians as a great victory for Iran. But in the same way that the United States is demanding from Iran what Khamenei is not ready to give, Khamenei will need from the United States what it is unrealistic for him to expect—a rapid lifting of sanctions, acknowledgment of Iran’s right to enrich (even if Iran does not choose to exercise this right), and recognition of Iran as a major player in the Persian Gulf region and the Middle East, with a seat at the table when regional issues are discussed.
The winds are shifting in Iran; but, so far, only slightly.
6 months ago
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