“Speculation about an Israeli strike against Iranian nuclear facilities is rife, but there is little discussion about whether diplomacy can still succeed, precluding the need for military action.
Many experts doubt that Tehran would ever accept a deal that uses intrusive inspections and denies or limits uranium enrichment to halt any advances toward a nuclear weapons capability, while still permitting the development of civilian nuclear power. But before we assume that diplomacy can’t work, it is worth considering that Iranians are now facing crippling pressure and that their leaders have in the past altered their behavior in response to such pressure. Notwithstanding all their bluster, there are signs that Tehran is now looking for a way out.
Much has changed in the last three years. In January 2009, Iran was spreading its influence throughout the Middle East, and Arab leaders were reluctant to criticize Iran in public lest they trigger a coercive Iranian reaction. Similarly, Iran’s government wasn’t facing significant economic pressures; Iranians had simply adjusted to the incremental sanctions they were then facing.”