After months of increasingly ominous war talk by the United States, Israel and Iran, there are intriguing signs of potential diplomatic progress over Iran’s nuclear program.
Al Monitor Washington correspondent Barbara Slavin cites numerous developments inside and outside Iran that suggest new possibilities for negotiations over Iran's nuclear program--and a general decline in tensions between the U.S. and Iran.
A series of events – both internal and external – have improved the odds for fruitful negotiations when the United States and its U.N. Security Council partners plus Germany – the so-called P5+1 -- sit down with Iran sometime next month after the Iranian New Year.
US President Barack Obama appears to have contained the threat of an Israeli attack on Iranian nuclear installations, admonishing Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to give diplomacy more time. Obama – while vowing to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons -- made clear his preference for negotiations and decried “loose talk of war.”
Netanyahu, in turn, bowed to the reality that Obama is increasingly favored to win another presidential term -- and that the last thing Obama wants is to be dragged into another Middle East war. In his comments to the powerful Israel lobby, Netanyahu declared that “Israel has exactly the same policy,” as the United States when it comes to Iran.