This weekend is seen as Tehran's best opportunity to make concessions on the Iran nuclear program if it is has any intention of doing so.
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How Iran approaches these negotiations will be a good indicator of how successful sanctions have been at convincing its leadership to make concessions on its nuclear program, which the international community suspects is designed not only for nuclear power but also nuclear weapons, the L.A. Times reports. Western officials say that this weekend is Iran's best opportunity to scale back its recalcitrance if it is has any intention of doing so. As sanctions bite harder in coming months, it will become more difficult for Iran's leaders to explain a compromise with the West.
As the Los Angeles Times sums it up, the outcome of the talks could determine the likelihood of nuclear war, the global economic recovery, and the 2012 US presidential election. But diplomats just need to find enough agreement between the world powers (known as P5+1) and Iran to keep talks going beyond the weekend. It appeared less than certain that the talks would even happen until a week ago.
They [the P5+1] have set a modest goal for Istanbul: They want to see if Iran shows enough interest in cooperation to justify a second meeting, probably in Baghdad in a few weeks, where negotiations could begin in earnest.
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