None of the tough sanctions already imposed on Iran, or about to be imposed on July 1, will be cancelled or even suspended. If the P5+1 insists on this hard line, the Moscow negotiations will be doomed.
The US and its allies must recognize that both sides, not just the P5+1, have their own constraints, as well as winning cards to play. In the US, the hawks and Israel lobby do not want any diplomatic solution to the nuclear standoff. The Senate has been busy passing one resolution after another, trying to make it impossible to negotiate with Iran. Hardliners within Iran’s security, intelligence, and military forces, particularly in the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, also do not want to make any concession to the West.
And, while the sanctions imposed on Iran have worsened the economic plight of ordinary Iranians to the extent that the ruling elite cannot ignore it anymore, tougher confrontation with Iran in the absence of a diplomatic solution will push oil prices to much higher levels, greatly hurting the fragile European economies and the weak recovery in the US.
Moreover, with Iran’s stockpile of low-enriched uranium at 3.5 percent and 19.75 percent levels continuing to grow, the West’s anxiety over Iran’s military site at Parchin (southeast of Tehran) also growing, and the situation in Syria spiraling out of control, Iran does have some winning cards to play. No deal with Iran can be reached without a major concession by the US and its allies. If there is political will on both sides, the framework for a diplomatic solution and the road map to arrive at it are clear.
First, Iran must cease enrichment at 19.75 percent. In return, the EU must allow oil tankers that carry Iran’s oil to non-European nations to be insured by European companies. In addition, the sanctions on Iran’s central bank must at least be suspended.