In contentious, high-stakes negotiations, deals are possible when both sides have a chance to declare victory, and that point may have been reached.
“If the Iranian endgame is to keep enrichment, and if the United States’ endgame is to make sure there are no nuclear weapons in Iran, then it can be a win-win,” said Trita Parsi, author of a book on Iran and president of the National Iranian American Council, an independent advocacy group in Washington. “Those who have been criticizing the administration for compromising or giving Iran a concession, they are wrong. It is not a concession to adjust to an unchanging reality.”
For Iran, this is not exactly about compromising — which it has shown little appetite for — as much as cooperating. For the West, it is not about winning concessions but about developing verifiable assurances that Iran is not producing weapons.
“I think the Iranians are simply in no mood to accept any serious limits on the expansion of their program,” said Flynt Leverett, director of the Iran Project at the New America Foundation. “From their point of view, they already suspended enrichment for almost two years, from 2003 to 2005, and from their perspective, they got nothing for that and they’re not going to do that again.”
But Mr. Leverett said Iran sees “that by expanding, they’ve gotten the attention of the international community and they have cards to play.”
And that may have been Iran’s primary goal from the start.
There are many analysts inside and outside Iran who say that Tehran’s objective has been to master — or at least appear to master — the process of preparing nuclear fuel, fashioning a warhead and providing the means to deliver that warhead, but not actually to build a weapon. [continued…]
Israel is making preparations to carry out military attacks in Iran after December, a French magazine reported overnight Wednesday.
According to the report in Le Canard Enchainé quoted by Israel Radio, Jerusalem has already ordered high-quality combat rations from a French food manufacturer for soldiers serving in elite units and has also asked reservists of these units staying abroad to return to Israel.
The magazine further reported that in a recent visit to France, IDF Chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi told his French counterpart Jean-Louis Georgelin that Israel was not planning to bomb Iran, but might send elite troops to conduct activities on the ground there. [continued…]
Editor’s Comment — So, the bombing plans have now been shelved. Instead, Israel is going to send in commandos?
I kind of doubt it. The first problem is getting them in. I suppose the Kurds might oblige. But is Israel willing to risk seeing any of its soldiers taken prisoner and put on trial or used as human shields?