The Obama administration and the Iranian regime of Ayatollah Ali Khamenei are entering a critical week of decisions over the issue of Iran’s nuclear program. The sides are moving toward a “warming of relations alongside enrichment”, whereby the relationship between Washington and Tehran will improve, while Iran continues enriching uranium without pursuing a weapons program, but does not give up on its existing program. The threat of American or Israeli military action still exists, yet no one is holding the gun to Iran’s head.

Several developments have taken in the last couple of days, causing the White House to radiate optimism:

– Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency Yukiya Amano announced that he will visit Tehran in two days for talks with head of the Iranian negotiating team Saeed Jalili. The visit, which comes on the heels of a round of talks in Vienna, as well as another evening of talks, reflects a narrowing of the gap between the IAEA’s demand to allow its inspectors to access the Parchin base – where it is suspected that Iran is developing nuclear weapons – and the Iranian claim that Parchin is a military base exempt of all inspection. Iran’s readiness to accept the inspection of Parchin – after suspicious traces have been erased – will serve as proof of Iran’s new policy of “transparency” over its nuclear program.