Negotiators have made commendable progress in their effort to reach a comprehensive agreement. Yet disagreements on sanctions relief, inspections and centrifuge research could still prove insurmountable.
The US President visits the Gulf amidst heightened tension between the United States and Iran. But the latest episode in the Straits of Hormuz only underlines the wariness towards both countries by Gulf Arab States.
The US Air Force has reacted decisively to the serious failures that allowed the unscheduled flight of six nuclear weapons. Its response has been swift, thorough and multi-faceted. Yet, for all its openness, it still has questions to answer as to the deeper causes of the episode.
Is the threat of UN-imposed economic sanctions on an oil-dependent country, widely regarded as the most effective way of bringing the nuclear programme to heel, really the only way of meeting the Iranian challenge?