As Talks in Geneva Resume, Can 'Win-Win' Nuclear Deal Prevail?

As high-level negotiations resume in Geneva Thursday over the question of Iran’s nuclear and uranium enrichment programs, hopes for progress are reported to be optimistic so long as possible saboteurs to the talks—including the Israeli government and U.S. Congress—are adequately sidelined.

With Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif meeting with top diplomats from the P5+1 countries—which includes the US, UK, France, Germany, Russia and China—the outline of a possible agreement, even a smaller short-term deal that acts as a precursor to a long-term one, seemed closer than ever.

“I believe it is possible to reach an agreement during this meeting,” said Zarif in an interview with France 24, “but I can only talk for our side, I cannot talk for the other side.”

“I believe we’ve come very far in the last three rounds, so we [only] need to make a few more steps,” he continued. “We are prepared to make them in Geneva. But if we can’t take them in Geneva, we’ll take them in the next round.”

Though none of those involved directly in the talks would speak openly about the contours of a deal, the basic outline of what could be expected was being reportedly widely. According to Reuters:

The fears of sabotage, however, are most strongly felt because of continued threats by U.S. members of congress to legislate new rounds of sanctions against Iran even as the recent progress made since the election of Iran’s new President Hassan Rouhani has given new hope to a peaceful settlement.

As Trita Parsi, founder and president of the National Iranian American Council, caution in an op-ed on Wednesday, however, any move by Congress to slap Iran with deeper sanctions at this crucial moment would be a disaster.

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Calling the outline of the deal on the table a “good” one, Parsi wrote:

And foreign policy analyst Sina Toossi, writing at Foreign Policy In Focus on Thursday, blasted the failure of the sanctions regime while also terming the prospective agreement a “win-win” deal. According to Toossi:

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