The announcement by the White House that a preliminary agreement with Iran has been reached on limiting their nuclear program – stopping enrichment of uranium beyond 3 percent, dismantling enrichment facilities, and increasing the pace and intrusiveness of IAEA inspections – sets the stage for a six-month-long drama, the end of which is impossible to predict. What we can say with certainty, however, is that failure is not an option – because, in that case, war would be almost inevitable.
The collapse of the negotiations would give Iranian hardliners a new lease on life – after their humiliating defeat in the recent presidential elections, which elevated reformer Hassan Rouhani to the presidency – and rule out any opening to America for a long time to come.
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