In Negotiating over Nukes, Iran Holds the Upper Hand - Ilan Berman
Iranian officials have defiantly rejected the idea that they might stop enriching uranium to 20%, as per U.S. and European demands. Instead, all the parties at the Baghdad talks managed to do was agree to meet again for more talks later this month in Moscow. That outcome isn't cost-free. It provides Iran with diplomatic breathing room, and delays - at least temporarily - the application of significant additional economic pressure on Iran by the U.S. and its allies.
With the U.S. presidential election looming this fall, Washington sees negotiations as a net benefit, at least for the moment. So, too, does Iran. A protracted negotiating track confers tremendous benefit to the Iranian regime, providing it precious time to continue work on its nuclear program and adapt its economy to better weather international sanctions.
That's why Iran - for all of its bluster to the contrary - is likely to remain engaged in the current round of talks with the West. From Iran's perspective, diplomacy is indeed succeeding. Having agreed to reopen talks with Tehran, the U.S. and its allies now find themselves locked in protracted negotiations that play to Iran's timetable. The writer is vice president of the American Foreign Policy Council.(Forbes)