American realism regarding Iran is “now essential,” said Roger Cohen in The New York Times. The Bush administration “squandered countless diplomatic opportunities” to rein in Tehran’s nuclear program, and now the Islamic republic is a few years away from building a nuclear bomb. President Obama’s decision to talk to Iran could prevent a “nightmare,” if he puts all grievances on the table and starts building trust.
The reality in Iran, said Michael Rubin in The Wall Street Journal, is that the failure of diplomacy is Tehran's fault, not Bush's. Every time Tehran has agreed to slow down its nuclear program, it has merely pressed on in secret. Obama says he’s being persistent by talking with Iran—but negotiating with an insincere opponent is “arrogant, naïve, and dangerous.”
So let’s put Tehran to the test, said Sonni Efron in the Los Angeles Times. Iran says it only wants nuclear know-how to generate electricity, so why not let it buy the best nuclear reactor technology in exchange for abandoning enrichment and allowing inspections? “If Tehran refused, it would lose whatever credibility remains to its claim that its nuclear ambitions are purely peaceful.”