The New York Times reported over the weekend that the United States and Iran have agreed in principle to one-on-one negotiations regarding Iran’s nuclear program, according to unnamed Obama administration officials. An unnamed senior Obama official leaked to the Times that the last-ditch diplomatic effort would take place after the presidential election so the Iranians are sure they are negotiating with the right administration. The White House and Iran have denied that such nuclear talks are planned, and Romney surrogates have said not to “take the bait” from Iran if the reports are true, for such negotiations would buy more time for Iran to allow their nuclear program to advance. Democrats argue that if the report is true, negotiations are a positive and the result of economic sanctions pushed by the Obama administration.
The Wall Street Journal editorial board writes that the story is reminiscent of the flexibility President Obama informed Russian President Demitry Medvedev about last March, should he’d have in a second term. The polarizing possible news comes at an appropriate time as the final presidential debate Monday night will focus on foreign policy. The report has moved some of the attention away from Libya and towards Iran in regards to how Obama has handled relations with the country, whether talks with Iran will work in stopping their nuclear development, and what to make of the alternatives moving forward. Are crippling sanctions working? Is all we have left war or a nuclear Iran?
Watch the ‘Real News’ team try to answer these questions below: