Wha' Happened?


Absorbing the latest from the Iran talks will take time. First off: the reality-based caveats:

Most analysts had agreed coming into the talks this morning that the bare minimum for a successful meeting is an agreed framework for continuing the negotiations.  This (low) bar seems to have been met in today’s talks.

Enduring America's judges the talks a win for the Iranian government:

What it needed, even more than the disappearance of the sanctions threat and space for its nuclear programme, was the drama and spectacle of recognition to take back home.

I'm not so sure. Iran "agreed in principle Thursday to ship most of its current stockpile of enriched uranium to Russia, where it would be refined for exclusively peaceful uses." This strikes me as big news. Greenwald's framing:

As is true for any tentative agreement with anyone, there is always the possibility that something could happen prior to compliance, but this was a deal reached after a single-day meeting.  Just consider that, as Hynd said on Twitter, the "Obama WH already got more from one buffet lunch with Iran than Bush WH did in 8 years of saber-rattling." 

Gary Sick is also optimistic:

By all accounts, instead of being a food fight leading to a total breakdown, the Geneva talks were serious, businesslike, and even cordial. The top U.S. negotiator, Undersecretary of State William Burns, had a one-on-one meeting with Iranian top negotiator Saeed Jalili, in which they reportedly talked substantive issues. That is something that had not happened in thirty years. During the latter years of the Clinton presidency, Iranian officials conducted desperate evasive maneuvers to avoid any direct contact with American officials, and during the first six years of the George W. Bush administration, American officials did the same with their Iranian diplomatic counterparts. The orders on both sides to avoid official contact at risk of one’s professional career seem to have been relaxed, at least for this occasion.

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