By Micah HalpernI've Been Thinking:
Next week in Geneva (on October 15th and 16th) a conference will take place between Iran and the world powers about the current nuclear impasse.
In discussing the matter, the Iranian speaker of the parliament, who is also their former nuclear negotiator, gave a recipe for predicting the success or failure of the meetings.
Ali Larijani said that for the meeting to succeed the focus must not be on what Iran must do and what will happen if they do not do.
Rather, he said, the focus of the meeting should be different. From Iran's point of view "It mostly concerns building confidence rather than a commercial give-and-take."
Confidence building means that the world powers must stop threatening Iran. It means that instead of threatening, they must create a situation in which Iran is a participant in the dialogue and that the dialogue must lend the Iranians proper respect.
The problem with this Iranian point of view is that by placing Iran in this new position it almost certainly means relaxing sanctions against Iran. And that means that the Iranians have won.
And that means that the West will have lost all leverage.
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