Tuesday, October 1, 2013

"Iran Opens Its Fist"

"...A senior Iranian who was involved in those discussions told me this week that Iran in 2005, when discussions collapsed, was “willing to settle for two thousand centrifuges.” Today, after a decade of futile pressure and sanctions, Iran has more than 18,000 centrifuges.So these two visitors from Iran have returned to offer a nuclear deal that bears more than a little resemblance to their offers of almost exactly a decade ago. Both bear the scars of their past engagement, which may help to explain the reluctance to rush into a very public handshake until they were more confident of a favorable US response to their overtures. Those doubts were apparently removed on Thursday, when US Secretary of State John Kerry met privately with Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, without even notetakers present. In an almost surrealist touch, Zarif gave his first account of the meeting to his president only an hour or so later in front of more than two hundred applauding Americans in a ballroom of the Hilton Hotel. That event was capped the following day by the telephone call between the two presidents, which was first reported to the public in Rouhani’s Twitter feed and then confirmed by President Obama in a public statement. ..."

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