WASHINGTON — Just before international inspectors on Sunday were guided for the first time into an Iranian nuclear enrichment plant whose existence was a state secret until recently, the speaker of Iran’s Parliament warned his countrymen to beware of American efforts to “cheat” Iran out of the nuclear fuel that has become the country’s currency in reasserting its power.
In Washington, the concern is precisely the reverse. Here, even some of President Obama’s aides are wary that Iran is setting a trap, trying to turn the administration’s signature offer of engagement into a process of endless negotiations. They are acutely aware of the fact that the clock is ticking: While talks continue, Iran is steadily enriching more uranium, the fuel it would need if it ever decided to sprint for the bomb, much as Israel and India did 30 years ago, followed by Pakistan and North Korea.
That struggle — pitting Iran’s fears of falling for a Western conspiracy to neutralize its “strategic reserv... >>>
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