Keep talking to Iran

From an editorial Tuesday in the Los Angeles Times:

It’s disappointing that negotiations on Iran’s nuclear program failed to produce a final agreement by Monday’s deadline. But the decision by Iran and six world powers to keep talking is vastly preferable to the alternative. A rupture in the negotiations would have freed Iran from its commitment not to accelerate its efforts to develop nuclear energy while negotiations proceed.

Moreover, both sides indicate that there was progress in recent weeks toward the ultimate goal: a permanent agreement under which Iran would credibly agree to use nuclear power only for peaceful purposes in exchange for the lifting of sanctions that have damaged its economy.

This isn’t the first extension of the talks, which originally had a deadline of July 20. But it has been only a year since Iran and the UN Security Council plus Germany (the so-called P5-plus-1) unveiled a Joint Plan of Action designed to end years of diplomatic stalemate over Iran’s nuclear program. Iran shouldn’t be allowed to stretch out the negotiations indefinitely, but the seven-month extension announced Monday is a reasonable one.

Members of Congress need to remember: This is not a matter for political gamesmanship.