Steve Coll analyzes recent actions:
The United States and the European Union are ratcheting up economic sanctions in the hope that they will push Iran’s President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, to re-start serious nuclear negotiations after a year’s hiatus. The E.U.’s twenty-seven member countries, which buy about a fifth of Iran’s oil exports, agreed last week to forgo all Iranian crude by July. Ahmadinejad said soon afterward that he would indeed be willing to talk again. The strategy, led by Obama, appears to be achieving its aim of raising the pressure on the ayatollahs to an unprecedented level. The value of Iran’s currency has fallen sharply. The diplomatic campaign would be stronger if it contained a definite plan to assuage Iran’s fears that the West and Israel ultimately seek regime change in Tehran—fears that presumably inform Iran’s search for a nuclear deterrent.
Joshua Pollack outlines what successful diplomacy would look like.