Ray Takeyh counsels the United States and its allies to apply patience as nuclear talks with Iran resume later this month. He contends that "time works best for the United States," while a "take it or leave it" approach will not. Unfortunately, patient negotiation has been tested time and again — not by the U.S. and its allies but by the International Atomic Energy Agency.
For more than a decade the respected nuclear watchdog has attempted to get Tehran to divulge all of its nuclear activities. The agency's most recent evaluation captures the frustration: "As Iran is not providing the necessary cooperation … the agency is unable to provide credible assurance about the absence of undeclared nuclear material and activities in Iran, and therefore to conclude that all nuclear material in Iran is in peaceful activities."
The international community has seen the failure of patient diplomacy before in endless talks with North Korea. Only a few days ago the world was reminded of the outcome, with North Korea's third nuclear weapons test. Can Iran be far behind?