U.S. Wonders if Iran Is Playing for Time or Is Serious on Deal

WASHINGTON — President Obama got what he said he wanted when United States negotiators met with their Iranian counterparts this week in Geneva: direct engagement, without preconditions, with Iran.

But the trick now for Mr. Obama, administration officials concede, will be to avoid getting rolled. In other words, is the Iranian government serious this time?

The clearest risk is that the Iranians may play for time, as they often have been accused of doing in the past, making promises and encouraging more meetings, while waiting for political currents to change or the closed ranks among the Western allies to break.

Obama administration officials were clearly walking a fine line on Thursday between celebrating what could be a possible breakthrough in international efforts to rein in Iran’s nuclear ambitions — Tehran agreed to send most of its openly declared enriched uranium outside Iran to be turned into fuel — and sounding appropriately skeptical that the administration was not going … >>>

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