At the Table with Iran

The red line for Western negotiators:

And if Iran is going to maintain the right to enrich uranium to even low levels, as it continues to insists it must, the West would surely demand highly intrusive inspections — far more than Iran has tolerated in the past. How these matters are resolved will go far in deciding the success or failure of the talks

via In Iran Talks, Nuclear Gains Offer Challenge

Iran starts from a position of strength:

Two important elements overshadow the upcoming negotiations: power and culture. Currently, Iran clearly has a better bargaining position, since it has more valid alternatives. The West’s alternatives to an agreement are limited to either strengthening sanctions or military action. Iran’s alternative to an agreement – to continue the enrichment process – seems today more realistic, achievable and “less costly” than the alternatives of the other side. Via Haaretz

But as Brett Stephens notes in the WSJ, showing strength is, in itself, an important tactic to achieve a deal with Iran. But then again, these past relationships have been filled with misunderstandings and difficulties, important details for upcoming negotiations.


3 thoughts on “At the Table with Iran”

  1. Money talks and the economic repercussions of the heavy sanctions against Iran have seemed to change the ideology of the state. I agree with the United States’ actions. I believe that this could be one of the beginning steps towards relative stability in the Middle East. A lot has happened since the election of Rouhani, and I am excited to see the new developments in this situation.

  2. I agree in that Iran has a better bargaining position because they win either way. If the United States comes to an agreement with them then the sanctions will be lifted and their economy will ameliorate. If the US rejects their offer Iran can turn around and say well we tried to make a deal with them but they rejected it. That would be what the Iranian Supreme ruler would want anyway. The problem that I see in any agreement is that Israel will be left off to the side. I think that Israel should be included in these nuclear talks. That way we would be sure that whatever agreement is made it would be one that protects Israel and because Iran is known for having threatened Israel in the past if they were to reject the offer they would be seen as the “bad guys”.

  3. Although I am an American (and admittedly comfortable with the global position enjoyed by my incredibly privileged country), I sometimes wonder if I take issue with American exceptionalism. In fact, I’m wondering more about this since our Cuban Missile Crisis simulation last week. Why is America always allowed to have whatever weapons it wants, when it wants, and where it wants? We try to enforce our self-interested ideas of who can have what capabilities and at time, but we never lower ourselves to the level of those to whom we preach. We never answer to anyone but ourselves.

    I’m happy the US and Iran finally had a phone call between our two presidents. But how much longer can we tell them what they can and can’t do—while continuing to do whatever we please—and not expect the world to turn our rhetoric on us and demand we disarm in kind?

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