May 22 2012
This commentary appeared on ForeignPolicy.com on May 22, 2012.
The May 23 Baghdad talks between Iran and the P5+1 (United States, Britain, France, Russia, China, plus Germany) may prove to be a crucial juncture in the Iranian nuclear crisis. The talks could lead to a compromise with Iran while a lack of compromise could lead to an Israeli strike against Iran's nuclear facilities, and possibly a costly regional war involving the United States.
There is reason to be pessimistic. The Iranian regime, an opponent of U.S. interests in the Middle East, a supporter of terrorism, and a gross violator of human rights, is hardly trustworthy. Iranian officials, who have appeared to be more compromising and flexible recently, may well be buying Iran more time to make advances on the nuclear program.