Prior to the talks on Tehran's nuclear program, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu expressed skepticism that Iran would be willing to give up its nuclear program. Israel has in the past accused Iran of exploiting the negotiations to buy time to continue advancing its nuclear program. Prof. Ze'ev Maghen, Chair of the Department of Middle Eastern History at Bar-Ilan University, said the international community "continue to believe that they can talk the Iranians down, or that they can bribe them down, or that they can threaten them down - but they can't do any of those things."
"Looking at the history of these negotiations that goes back to the 1990s, it has been one long laughingstock. Basically, the ones who are laughing are the Iranians," Maghen said. He pointed out that, prior to every meeting, Iran's representatives state that, while they will be happy to meet with the international representatives, they have no intention of ending the enrichment of uranium.
Last week, the U.S. and its partners arrived in Baghdad for another round of talks with Tehran, confident they were at last about to turn the diplomatic corner. But this time, Iran did more than just reject demands to shut down its underground enrichment facility at Fordo and ship its near-bomb-grade uranium abroad. It also announced it would do precisely the opposite: install more centrifuges at Fordo, increase the rate of enrichment, and forbid any UN inspections of suspected military sites.
The West's response? It has agreed to another round of talks next month in Moscow, thereby giving the Iranians the one thing they wanted from the negotiations, which is time.
The larger question is why the U.S. continues to believe that there's a grand bargain to be struck? Most people know that no almost always means NO!