The Persian Knot

BERLIN – The negotiations between Iran and the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, plus Germany, over Iran’s nuclear program are entering a new, and probably decisive, stage. The negotiations have been going on for almost a decade, with long interruptions, and whether a breakthrough will come this time is anyone’s guess. But the situation has never been as serious as it is today, and peace hangs in the balance.

After the recent visits by Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to Washington, DC, and by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to Tehran, a foggy situation is nonetheless becoming clearer. It appears that US President Barack Obama has won time by drawing a line in the sand – the start of an explicit Iranian nuclear-weapons program – and by assuring Israel of America’s readiness for military action should negotiations fail.