Also, Obama realizes that Iran will have a new president after elections in June, a fact that possibly is causing Iran to drag its feet. The next president will replace hard-liner Mahmoud Ahmadinejad who denies the World War II Holocaust in which Hitler’s Germany killed 6 million Jews.
But in Iran, real power is in the hands of supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Students of Iran believe that Khamenei is undecided on using the country’s nuclear fuel to build a nuclear weapon. He has said such a weapon was in conflict with Iran’s Islamic foundations.
Any future talks will hang on Iran’s demand for specific guarantees about easing sanctions in return for dialing back its nuclear program.
Sadjadpour said the outlines of a deal are clear to both sides. He said the unspoken U.S. position is: ‘‘You can have a nuclear program which includes uranium enrichment, but not a weapon. If you don’t go for the bomb, we won’t bomb you.’’
But, he said, sanctions will not be eased without meaningful compromises. ‘‘The problem is that there remains a very large gap in our respective definitions of the word ‘meaningful.'’’
And that could be very dangerous, said Maloney, should there be a deal that goes bad. If that happens Obama ‘‘will be forced to put his money where his mouth is,’’ meaning he would be forced to launch a military strike to make good on his vow to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.
EDITOR'S NOTE — Steven R. Hurst is AP international political writer and has covered foreign affairs for 30 years
An AP News Analysis