Think of the Iranian nuclear crisis in terms of (American) football. The game is approaching the half-way point of the fourth quarter and the score is Iran 7-United States and her Allies 3. President Obama is the quarterback. So far, he’s spent the game unsuccessfully trying to connect with his prolific receivers (diplomats). Time is running out and if he cannot put some points on the board, the special teams coach (Israel) is going to try pulling off a risky stunt that potentially will wind up doing more harm than good. For the moment, quarterback Obama is sticking with the passing game. In the backfield, however, is an unused weapon; a 250 lb Craig Heyward-esque brute of a fullback (US military). Obama realizes if he turns the fullback loose, he will find the end zone. It will not be pretty. Much damage will be caused, and the sports writers (media) and fans (American public) will question whether the move was even necessary.
The moment has not arrived yet. However, it is rapidly approaching. Time is running out and President Obama is going to have to seriously consider handing the ball off to the US military in order to ensure that Iran never obtains nuclear weapons.
The latest round of talks between the P5+1 and Iran last month in Almaty concluded, once again, without a concrete agreement between Iran and the UN Security Council Powers, in addition to Germany. While it is unrealistic to expect that an agreement will be reached anytime soon, a genuine sign of progress would prove helpful at this point in time. The Almaty talks, despite the media spin, failed to achieve this. Iran continues its attempt to tie other regional issues, namely Syria and Bahrain, to the resolution of the nuclear crisis. Sanction removal with as little compromise as possible is another primary goal that Iranian diplomatic efforts are aimed at achieving.
It is evident that diplomacy between Iran and the West is mired in a vicious circle. The United States and her allies are making a maximum diplomatic effort backed up by economic sanctions. The result, thus far, has been far less than expected. Iran has endured the sanctions and has not made a significant concession on its nuclear program. Time is on Iran’s side, and the leadership in Tehran understands this fact all too well. The longer that the diplomatic process is drawn out, the closer Iran comes to producing nuclear weapons.