Why Iran’s Ahmadinejad Needs a Nuclear Deal

Why Iran’s Ahmadinejad Needs a Nuclear Deal

Negotiators from the P5+1 countries and Iran failed to reach a breakthrough in Istanbul last week at thelatest round of talks over Iran's nuclear program. Nevertheless, it seems that, once again, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad wants to keep negotiations alive with his seemingly never-ending bazaar-style haggling.

The reason is simple: Ahmadinejad's administration requires a positive outcome, at least on paper, so that the U.S., its European allies and the United Nations Security Council lift the debilitating economic sanctions targeting the Islamic Republic. So despite last week's stalemate, the latest of many, Ahmadinejad is dangling the carrot of compromise to lure the West back to the table. In doing so, he has little to lose and much to gain. After all, for the West, signing a deal with Iran is only the first hurdle -- enforcing it within Iran will be an even greater battle. Ahmadinejad's expectation seems to be that, if only he can get both the P5+1 and his domestic political rivals to go along with a deal, he can have his Yazdi cookie -- the Iranian equivalent of the proverbial cake -- and eat it too.

So, on Jan. 23, Iran's semi-officialMehr News Agency quoted public statements by both Ahmadinejad and Supreme National Security Council Secretary Saeed Jalili, who represented Tehran in Istanbul on Jan. 21-22, as saying that the meeting should not be seen in a negative light. They cast the outcome as simply one more maneuver in ongoing multilateral discussions. Ahmadinejad announced to a crowd at the Caspian port city of Rasht, "Future rounds of talks between Iran and the [P5+1] could yield a good agreement."

Keep reading for free!

Get instant access to the rest of this article by submitting your email address below. You'll also get access to three articles of your choice each month and our free newsletter:

Or, Subscribe now to get full access.

Already a subscriber? Log in here .

What you’ll get with an All-Access subscription to World Politics Review:

A WPR subscription is like no other resource — it’s like having a personal curator and expert analyst of global affairs news. Subscribe now, and you’ll get:

  • Immediate and instant access to the full searchable library of tens of thousands of articles.
  • Daily articles with original analysis, written by leading topic experts, delivered to you every weekday.
  • Regular in-depth articles with deep dives into important issues and countries.
  • The Daily Review email, with our take on the day’s most important news, the latest WPR analysis, what’s on our radar, and more.
  • The Weekly Review email, with quick summaries of the week’s most important coverage, and what’s to come.
  • Completely ad-free reading.

And all of this is available to you when you subscribe today.

More World Politics Review