Iran's top nuclear negotiator announced Friday that his nation will sit down for talks with the world's six major nuclear powers this month, rekindling a small bit of hope for a deal to end the country's bid for nuclear weapons. Saeed Jalili told reporters that Iran has accepted that idea that talks "should be held in January," although no date has actually been worked out yet. A European Union spokesperson said the talks will happen soon.
The last time the six powers — the U.S., Britain, France, Germany, China, and Russia — came together for talks over Iran was back in June, but those negotiations broke off without progress being made. Iran has offered no new signals that it was willing to make concessions now, but it has become clear in recent months that economic sanctions have crippled the Iranian economy. If the situation doesn't change Iran may finally be willing to strike a bargain on its nuclear enrichment program, if — and that's a big if — it can get some sort of assurance that it will be safe from Israeli attack. It's hard to imagine that there's any security guarantee that would please the Iranian negotiators enough to give up their plan for a bomb altogether, or abandon their claims that nuclear energy is their right as a nation. So the talks may still come to nothing, but the big six have to at least give it another try.