Iran felt compelled to compromise in the past, oil cost less than $25 a barrel. Today, oil prices hover around four times that amount, softening the blow of sanctions. It’s possible that in the near term Supreme Leader Khamenei will attempt a tactical and temporary compromise to stave off pressure and peel China and Russia away from the U.S. and the EU. There are no indications, however, that Khamenei feels forced to make the types of meaningful and binding nuclear compromises that would reassure the U.S. and potentially placate Israel.
No nuclear deal with Tehran can be made without Khamenei, yet it is almost as unlikely that any deal can be made with him. In effect, Khamenei’s obstinance due to his belief that U.S. policy is regime change, not behavior change, is becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy. The writer is a senior associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. (Karim Sadjadpour – Washington Post)

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