Surprise Hints at Compromise in Iran Nuclear Talks

China Pushes for 'Flexibility' on All Sides

After bellicose comments and over-the-top US demands seemingly put to bed any hope that next weekend’s P5+1 talks on Iran’s nuclear program would accomplish anything, new reports suggest that there is sudden talk of a compromise.

Gone is the sudden US demand that Iran abandon the entirety of its civilian program and agree to unconditionally “surrender” all of its nuclear fuel to the West. There are reports that President Obama sent a message, by way of Turkey, that the US might theoretically be able to accept a civilian program under certain conditions.

Likewise, while Iran’s politicians were ruling out any change in enrichment, nuclear officials say that they are very close to producing all the 20 percent enriched uranium they’d need for fueling their medical isotopes reactor, and would abandon that level of enrichment at any rate once they got there.

None of this suggests a deal is imminent, but it could point to progress. Between this and the cajoling from China for both sides to show some “flexibility” during the talks, the meeting might have some conceivable hope for progress after all.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.