The tentative Iran nuclear deal could be the beginning of a shift from a dominant antagonism to an openness to addressing mutual interests, some diplomatic experts say.
The tentative agreement reached in Vienna on Wednesday to substantially reduce Iran's stockpile of low-enriched uranium raises a tantalizing question: After 30 years of hostility, could this be the beginning of a thaw in US-Iranian relations?
No one paints the deal as a Nixon-to-China watershed moment that from now on puts relations on positive and constructive footing. But it could nonetheless be the beginning of a shift from a dominant antagonism to an openness to addressing mutual interests, some diplomatic experts say.
"Let's definitely have modest expectations here. There's a lot for the two countries to get through as they consider taking this dialogue further," says Trita Parsi, president of the National Iranian American Council in Washington. "It's going to take much more for any tentative openness to take hold, but this could prove to be the first step in turning the trajectory of US-Iranian relations."
The Vienna agreement, reached tentatively among Iranian, American, French, and Russian negotiators under the auspices of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), calls for much of Iran's low-enriched uranium (LEU) stockpile to be shipped outside the country for reprocessing.