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Michael-Eisenstadtt-283x150-279x148Why a Nuclear Deal with Iran Is So Hard

The tension between what Iran wants and what the West needs in a deal. 

Michael Eisenstadt

The National Interest, November 20, 2013 


It should have come as no surprise when talks between Iran and the P5+1 in Geneva two weeks ago ended without an interim confidence-building agreement—apparently because the Islamic Republic could not accept a revised draft agreement that did not recognize its “right to enrich.” Negotiations with Iran have always been difficult, protracted affairs—in this case, made more fraught by differences between France and the other members of the P5+1. Diplomacy has been further complicated by the fact that Tehran hopes to use negotiations to confirm (if not legitimize) its status as a nuclear threshold state, while preserving a degree of ambiguity regarding its actual capabilities—an outcome that the P5+1 is not likely—or at least should not— agree to. Finding a way through these thickets will be key if nuclear diplomacy with Iran is to succeed. 

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