Wednesday, June 07, 2006

It just might work

Words are cheap, of course, but Iran has reacted somewhat positively to a package of incentives designed to get it to give up its nuclear ambitions.

The package, agreed on in Vienna on Friday, includes specific rewards to Iran like new commercial planes and light-water nuclear reactors if it suspends enrichment and reprocessing activities while talks over the deal are continuing, the officials said. But it does not say just how long the suspension would last, they added.

The United States gave crucial heft to the package by offering to remove certain economic sanctions against Iran that date from more than two decades ago, and to talk directly with Iran if the country agrees to an enrichment freeze.

It's always kind of irritating to reward a country for behaving badly, but the proposals here are reasonable. The question now is whether Iran is willing to give up its enrichment program under any circumstances, or whether this is simply another stalling tactic.

I hope it works; I've got my fingers crossed and everything. But it's far from a done deal.

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