Forecasting The Iran Negotiations

by Zack Beauchamp

Laura Rozen plays down expectations:

Few analysts I spoke to expected the day-long Istanbul talks to be sufficient time to hammer out any sort of agreement. They suggested that Western negotiators may be looking to Istanbul as an opportunity to observe Iranian negotiators’ body language and see if there is receptivity for further meetings in the coming weeks.

Gary Sick expects the sanctions to determine the outcome:

In a way, it will be a race to see who is hurt the most by sanctions. They are aimed at Iran, of course, but they will also have a direct impact on the price of oil – which means the price of gasoline and its ripple effects on economies that are already vulnerable as they struggle to recover from the recent recession. President Obama is gambling that Iran will be hurt most, and soonest, leading to concessions. But the damage of higher oil prices to Western economies could have equal or even greater negative impact on our own economies at a very delicate moment. 

Reza Marashi and Ali Reza Eshraghi compile historical evidence about when and why Khamenei has been willing to compromise with the West.