Potentially hopeful news on Iran nuclear program

The Guardian reports that Iran is granting IAEA nuclear inspectors “significant concessions” days before the UN nuclear watchdog agency is scheduled to release a major report on the Iranian nuclear program.   The New York Times adds that this is the second of two recent signs that Iran may be willing to negotiate more fulsomely over its nuclear program.  The decision to “retain the foreign minister, Manouchehr Mottaki, and not to move a more conservative ally into that position” may also show a newfound willingness in Tehran to strike a deal, says the Times

These positive signals come amidst increasing international pressure on Iran. German PM Angela Merkel, for the first time, threw her support behind “energy sanctions” should Iran not deal cooperatively with the international community on the nuclear issue.  Obama has also warned Tehran that the window for constructive negotiations is closing. 

Looking forward, there are two upcoming meetings in which Iran’s nuclear program is due to come under international review.  The first is at a United Nations Security Council meeting chaired by President Obama on September 24. Then, later that day the G-20 Summit in Pittsburgh will open.  Iran’s nuclear status is on the agenda.  Bottom line is that this next month will be a key test of the international community’s efforts to curtail Iran’s nuclear ambitions.