The Ayatollah Contemplates Compromise

WASHINGTON, DC – The recent nuclear talks in Istanbul between the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, plus Germany, and Iran have shifted the world’s focus to the possible terms of a deal when the sides meet again, probably in Baghdad on May 23. So, what accounts for the new seeming willingness of Iran’s leaders to reach an agreement?

Economic sanctions and political isolation have, of course, deeply hurt the regime, especially the Revolutionary Guards, whose leaders and industries have been directly targeted by the international community. But these are not the only factors.