Observers would be forgiven for dismissing negotiations over Iran's nuclear program as Kabuki theater. Despite years of on-again, off-again efforts, after all, fears of war continue to simmer. Such frustrations are understandable -- but they may not be entirely justified. Despite real obstacles, there is a serious chance for progress if both sides come to the table willing to compromise and focused on a step-by-step approach that gives each side real gains, builds confidence, and allows more time for talks on the harder issues. The next round of negotiations between Iran and world powers, slated for May 23 in Baghdad, is crucial -- though only the start of a long road.
Bunn, Matthew, and Abbas Maleki. "How to Avoid a War With Iran." Foreign Policy. May 21, 2012.