Iran Update

IRAN UPDATE….Via Dan Drezner, Time’s Tony Karon reports some modestly encouraging news on the Iran front:

A senior former Iranian diplomat was reported Tuesday as revealing that [Iranian nuclear negotiator Ali] Larijani had been given “authority for compromise” by Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. As Iran’s leaders reportedly grow increasingly concerned about a confrontation with the U.S. and subjecting their troubled economy to the added pressure of sanctions, the search for a formula that would allow both sides to stand down has become more urgent.

….The U.S. had originally insisted that Iran could not be allowed to keep any enrichment facilities on its own soil, but it is now being reported that Solana may offer a deal in which Iran would keep its current small-scale enrichment research facility, although not actually run it, for now. Reports suggest that the U.S. will push for the Natanz facility to revert to “cold standby,” i.e. turning off but not dismantling the centrifuges, whereas Iran would counter that they be kept spinning, although empty of uranium.

The very fact that the negotiations are focused on such details of a mutually acceptable formula for defining what is meant by “suspension” of Iran’s activities suggests that the current trend in the nuclear talks is towards compromise, rather than confrontation.

Stay tuned. This sounds fairly speculative, but still better than anything we’ve heard before. Maybe a deal can be struck after all.