When an official involved in the negotiations calls Iran deceptive, and, moreover, carelessly makes this reference to the whole of Iran -- at least that's how it's being portrayed in the Iranian media -- that does not build confidence. It is the height of irresponsibility.
Now that Iran has made a clear decision to engage seriously in diplomatic negotiations with the West over its nuclear program, its intentions should be tested. Members of Congress should be open to seizing this opportunity by making strategic decisions on sanctions policy.
While neither side can afford to dither in getting the ball rolling, neither side should expect to sprint to the finish line. After all, we have nearly 35 years of entrenched misinformation, distrust, and virtual cold war.
Some in the U.S. concluded that at long last, Tehran desires a thaw in its relations with Washington and a normalization. I remain skeptical, hoping they are correct, but unwilling to make that leap for a number of reasons.
When President Rouhani takes the podium for his speech he could possibly see something that was unthinkable just a few months ago -- senior members of President Obama's foreign policy team listening to him politely.