The P5+1, a group of negotiators from the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Russia, China, and Germany, will meet with Iranian negotiators this week in Baghdad in the hope of peacefully resolving the Iranian nuclear crisis. Though the first round of talks last month in Istanbul was generally viewed as a positive step toward a de-escalation of tensions, the Baghdad talks face significant pressure to continue a pragmatic shift away from unnecessary direct military conflict with Iran.
There is strong bipartisan consensus in the United States and within the international community that an Iranian nuclear weapon would destabilize one of the world’s most important oil-producing regions, harm Israel’s security, and severely undermine the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.
But even though halting Iran’s nuclear weapon ambitions is an urgent priority, there is time for a disciplined approach and a serious and determined effort to resolve the situation diplomatically. That’s because most estimates place Iran a year away at minimum from producing a crude nuclear weapon. The key factor in these calculations is Iran’s capacity to produce the highly enriched uranium necessary for a bomb.
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