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Three Worries About Next Iran Talks

Trita Parsi worries that the next round of talks between the P5+1 and Iran could be much ado about nothing, without a newfound willingness by both sides to compromise.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad gestures to photographers after meeting with Indonesian counterpart Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono in Nusa Dua, Bali November 9, 2012. Ahmadinejad said on Thursday the age of nuclear deterrence was long gone and any country still stockpiling nuclear weapons was "mentally retarded". He again denied Iran was trying to develop nuclear weapons, a day after the re-election victory of U.S. President Barack Obama, for whom Tehran's disputed nuclear programme will be one of the thorn

Sometime in the next few weeks, the permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany (P5+1) will meet with Iran to pick up diplomacy from where it left off last summer. So far, neither side has shown much appetite for compromise. Both sides have insisted on maximalist objectives; consequently, progress has been absent.

This time around it might be different. Fabricated or not, there is a sense that the end game is near. The window for this breakthrough likely closes by March of next year as Iran enters its New Year festivities followed by its paralyzing presidential elections. But there are three things that worry me, that can cause the parties to lose yet another opportunity for peace.

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