The Iranian nuclear talks are playing out in classic fashion: A self-imposed deadline appears to have been extended due to stubborn disputes, with the sides publicly sticking to positions and facing internal pressure from opponents ready to pounce on any compromise.
Should the talks actually collapse, the alternatives are not appealing. The war option that the United States has kept on the table has few fans, and the world community does not seem willing to impose truly crippling sanctions. A dangerous period of uncertainty looms.
Which way it goes may depend on which side needs a deal the most. Iran might seem the weaker party, with sanctions harming its economy. But its authoritarian regime puts up a convincingly brave front, and the Obama Administration, with its legacy on the line, seems at least as determined to conclude a deal. (AP)
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