In a nutshell
Margaret O'Brien Steinfels November 18, 2013 - 3:35pm
What is at stake in the negotiations of P5+1 and Iran? Laura Secor writes in the New Yorker :
Most observers expect that an agreement would allow Iran to continue enriching uranium to five per cent, the level necessary to fuel a power plant, while disabling plutonium facilities, limiting the number and the type of uranium centrifuges, and imposing intrusive inspections on nuclear activities to insure that they are not turned to military use. Iran came to Geneva for the same reason that the six world powers did: because its leaders believe that they can get something they require at an acceptable cost. These are the conditions that make diplomacy possible, and it has taken ten years to produce them. The United States can use them to secure an imperfect peace. Or it can start over by increasing the pressure on Iran and demanding unconditional surrender. If it chooses the latter, it will avoid a compromise, but it may find itself left with a choice between an unmonitored Iranian nuclear program and war.
Read more at the New Yorker: "Talking or Walking."
Weighing in: Brzezinski and Scowcroft, former National Security Advisors: "We support President Obama’s decision to seek a first phase understanding with Iran to limit Iran’s nuclear program now." Text here.
More: NYTimes marriage counselors, David Sanger and Jodi Rudoren look at the U.S.-Israel relationsip: "Those two divergent views have deeply politicized the question of whether the accord that the United States and its European allies are considering should be termed a good deal or a bad one. It is a fundamental disagreement that has left in tatters whatever halfhearted efforts Mr. Obama and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel have made over the past five years to argue that they are on the same page when it comes to Iran."
About the Author
Margaret O'Brien Steinfels, a former editor of Commonweal, writes frequently in these pages and blogs at dotCommonweal.