This week has been distingushed by talk of break-through in nuclear talks between Iran and the 5+1 Powers; however, Wendy Sherman, the lead US negotiator, has cautioned, “There’s a long, long way to go.”
She’s right. The process of engagement is likely to be challenged by pundits who proclaim that the discussions cannot be a two-way compromise to reach a settlement — instead, they will insist that Iran must capitulate to US demands.
At the start of this year, the prominent academic Robert Jervis gave these pundits a cloak of legitimacy with his invocation of “coercive diplomacy”. And on Tuesday, as the talks were starting in Geneva, Ray Takeyh of the Council on Foreign Relations turned this into a call for Washington to force Iranian surrender.