After years of deadlocked negotiations and inflexibility, Iran has recently become much more accommodating about making concessions regarding its nuclear program. This newfound willingness is not entirely the result of personnel changes in the form of new President Hassan Rouhani. Shifts in the international environment are also partly responsible for the apparent decision by Iran’s leaders to change tack.

The Realist Prism: For Iran, Nukes No Longer Key to Deterring U.S.

By , , Column

After years of deadlocked negotiations and apparent inflexibility on the part of the Islamic Republic of Iran to make substantive concessions on its development of nuclear technology, some of which might be used for weapons, Tehran has recently become much more accommodating. The framework agreement reached in November in Geneva, trading cessation of enrichment and dilution of existing stockpiles of enriched uranium for sanctions relief, will go into effect Jan. 20.

Is this newfound willingness to negotiate simply a result of personnel changes, beginning with the election of Hassan Rouhani as president? Not entirely. After all, Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and a significant portion of the Iranian political and clerical elite who had previously opposed making concessions now seem to quietly support the negotiating process—albeit with some attempts to spin the temporary agreement as a victory for Tehran. ...

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