Former Assistant Secretary of State for Arms Control and Nonproliferation Stephen Rademaker predicts that "The Obama administration will likely begin negotiations by insisting that Iran suspend its efforts to enrich uranium...., a requirement imposed by the
United Nations Security Council in July 2006 and reiterated several times since." But Iran will reject this demand, and then the real game will begin. Rademaker predicts that many of Obama's advisers will then then urge him to "cut the best deal we can now, even if it allows Iran to continue enriching."
"The critics will propose fallback positions like allowing enrichment, but under enhanced international safeguards that supposedly can detect the development of nuclear weapons. Perhaps they will propose strict limits on the amount of uranium that Iran can enrich. Or, as suggested last year by the retired diplomat Thomas Pickering and his co-writers William Luers and Jim Walsh: allowing enrichment, but only on the condition that Iran converts its national enrichment efforts into a multinational program that is owned and operated by a consortium of countries.
"The problem is that other countries in the region could demand the same treatment. ...Once we accept enrichment in Iran, it will become impossible to deny the same arrangement to friendly governments in the region, let alone unfriendly ones like Syria. The result will be the proliferation of dangerous nuclear technologies that we have been seeking to avoid. "
"...For these reasons, the United States cannot be more eager than Tehran to reach a deal, and Mr. Obama must persuade Iran that he can afford to see negotiations fail.