Why This Time, Iranian Talks Might Actually Work

Talks kick off tomorrow in Istanbul
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 13, 2012 7:55 AM CDT
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is escorted by technicians during a tour of Tehran's research reactor center in northern Tehran, Iran.   (AP Photo/Iranian President's Office, File)

(Newser) – Iran usually uses "negotiations" over its nuclear program to complain about the US and the West in general, but things might actually be different when talks kick off tomorrow in Istanbul. This time, Iran might actually be willing to talk, thanks to the crippling sanctions it's laboring under, experts tell NPR. "They are in a desperate economic situation," says an Iranian studies professor. "More desperate than I think maybe any time since the beginning of the war with Iraq."

This weekend, negotiators have modest hopes, looking only for signs that Iran is serious about talking, the LA Times reports. There are already signs that they are; top officials have signaled they'd be willing to halt 20%-enriched uranium production. But some Western diplomats are skeptical. "There are clearly many people in the regime who are worried about the economy," says one. "But those aren't the people who are calling the shots. The supreme leader is calling the shots."

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