A reader ('concerned') commented on the August 1 entry on Iran. Unfortunately, the comment seems to have attached itself to the other entry for that day, the one on Rachel's Law. My technical knowledge is too limited for me to be able to move it, but I did want to respond.
'Concerned' asked why we should allow an Israeli attack on Iran, with all its downsides, rather than pursue negotiations or other options. The EU began negotiating with Iran in 2003 - yes, five years ago! For several years it had full U.S. backing. Net result: zero. Also, look what happened to Bill Burns, the No. 3 at the State Department. He attended a recent high-level meeting with the Iranians and received a Bronx cheer in return.
I have to conclude that the power, prestige and influence that accrue from being a nuclear power matter far more to the Iranian government than pleasing the international community. That said, I don't detect any enthusiasm in Washington for a war with Iran. I also doubt that the Israelis are that keen either, but increasingly feel they have no other option. It's really about least worst outcomes: a nuclear-armed Iran with global, millenarian goals, is unlikely to be a good world citizen.