Wednesday, April 18, 2012

David Ignatius Gets It Right

I'm not a fan of David Ignatius, but this is pretty close to what I would write if I were writing a post like this today.

I think that Ignatius has the broad outlines of the negotiations right:
“Step-by-step” and “reciprocity” are the two guideposts for this exercise. They mark a dignified process for making concessions, much like the formula that President Obama used in his January 2009 inaugural address when he first signaled his outreach to Iran: “We seek a new way forward, based on mutual interest and mutual respect.”
The Russians first suggested the step-by-step approach, and I hope they'll eventually get credit for that. Now is not the time, however; we need a success first.

Ignatius's reading of the shape of the deal is vague and will allow him to claim he predicted whatever happens later:
The Iranians seem to be preparing their public for a deal that limits enrichment while preserving the right to enrich. In an interview Monday with the Iranian student news agency, Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi explained that “making 20 percent fuel is our right,” but that “if they guarantee that they will provide us with the different levels of enriched fuel that we need, then that would be another issue.” Salehi seemed to be reviving a 2009 Turkish plan to export Iran’s low-enriched uranium abroad, and receive back 20 percent fuel for its Tehran research reactor, supposedly to make the isotopes. That earlier deal collapsed because of opposition from Khamenei, who apparently is now ready to bargain.
There's more worth reading.

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