Our Political Quote of the Day comes from the Washington Post’s David Ignatius who reports that a deal could be in the works with Iran:
The nuclear talks with Iran have just begun, but already the smart money in Tehran is betting on a deal. That piece of intelligence comes from the Tehran stock index, which on the day after the talks opened posted its largest daily rise in months and closed at a record high.
Tehran investors may be guilty of wishful thinking in their eagerness for an agreement that would ease the economic sanctions squeezing their country. My guess is that they probably have it right. So far, Iran is following the script for a gradual, face-saving exit from a nuclear program that even Russia and China have signaled is too dangerous. The Iranians will bargain up to the edge of the cliff, but they don’t seem eager to jump.
The mechanics of an eventual settlement are clear enough after Saturday’s first session in Istanbul: Iran would agree to stop enriching uranium to the 20 percent level, and would halt work at an underground facility near Qom built for higher enrichment. Iran would export its stockpile of highly enriched uranium for final processing to 20 percent, for use in medical isotopes.
In the language of these talks, the Iranians could describe their actions not as concessions to the West, but as “confidence-building” measures, aimed at demonstrating the seriousness of Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei’s public pledge in February not to commit the “grave sin” of building a nuclear weapon. And the West would describe its easing of sanctions not as a climb down, but as “reciprocity.”
The basic framework was set weeks ago, in an exchange of letters between the chief negotiators. Catherine Ashton, who represents the “P5+1” group of permanent U.N. security council members and Germany, proposed a “confidence-building exercise aimed at facilitating a constructive dialogue on the basis of reciprocity and a step-by-step approach.”
Go to the link to read the rest.
Joe Gandelman is a former fulltime journalist who freelanced in India, Spain, Bangladesh and Cypress writing for publications such as the Christian Science Monitor and Newsweek. He also did radio reports from Madrid for NPR’s All Things Considered. He has worked on two U.S. newspapers and quit the news biz in 1990 to go into entertainment. He also has written for The Week and several online publications, did a column for Cagle Cartoons Syndicate and has appeared on CNN.