Next week, the members of the P5+1 nations will gather in Baghdad for a second round of high profile meetings with Iran. After last month’s meeting in Istanbul was termed “productive,” there is considerable hope that a deal is possible.
Or considerable fear, if you’re a top Israeli official, as many of them are expressing serious concerns about the talks, which they didn’t favor in the first place, and believe that an actual agreement would spoil their own plans to attack Iran later in the year.
Reports say that a deal is actually possible, and that it would involve Iran handing over its 20% enriched uranium in return for fuel rods for the US-built Tehran Research Reactor (TRR). The “intermediate agreement” would allow Iran to continue enriching uranium, and would offer to suspend “some” of the sanctions if Iran agreed to restrict its enrichment to its older, easier to attack facilities.
Such a deal would still give Western officials plenty of room to wring their hands about Iran’s civilian program, but would effectively eliminate any excuse for launching an attack. Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak insisted that anything short of a full surrender of their civilian program would be “too little” and would “leave the issue completely unresolved.”