Opinion Brief

Are talks with Iran hopeless?

Nuclear negotiations between Iran and Western powers flamed out in two short days. Is the time for talking over?

Nuclear talks in Istanbul between Iran and six world powers — the U.S., France, Germany, China, Russia, and Britain — ended in failure over the weekend. The six countries had hoped to revive a proposal under which Iran would ship much of its enriched uranium to France and Turkey, where it would be processed into fuel for nuclear power plants, but Iran refused to discuss the subject, miring the summit at what one European diplomat called "the pre-dialogue stage." No new talks are scheduled. Is this the end of the road for negotiations? (Watch a report about Iran's nuclear talks)

The time for talking is over: "It's no surprise that the latest round of nuclear talks with Iran have collapsed," says Jennifer Rubin in The Washington Post. President Obama's whole obsession with "talking" to Iran is based on a flawed premise: That Tehran has any interest in negotiating. Now that we've proved that, it's time for "more fruitful actions" like threatening military strikes, focusing on Iran's human rights abuse, and encouraging regime change."So why keep talking to Iran?"

The West raised the stakes too high: Why would Iran negotiate when the West radically changed the proposal on the table? asks Scott Lucas in Enduring America. The previous offer was for Iran to send about 60 percent of its low-grade uranium abroad; now the U.S. and its allies want 90 percent of its low-grade stuff and 20 percent of its quality uranium. That "core issue" was missing in U.S. newspapers, but it's why the meetings "failed to advance towards an agreement.""How the U.S. media missed the important story..."

Diplomacy is risky, but it is still the best option: Iran is the one being "obstinate," and that doesn't serve it well, says the Bangkok Post in an editorial. "Every other civilized country" has given international inspectors an open door, because they have nothing to hide. Iran has chosen to "become even more secretive than North Korea." But as "dead" as diplomacy seems, persuading Tehran to "come clean" is the only "realistic" path forward."What to do about Iran"

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