BERLIN — There is a wise American saying: “If you are in a hole, stop digging.” The six governments that are considering the next steps to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear bomb — the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council and Germany — should heed that advice. Otherwise, they could end up without any handle on the Iranian nuclear program, and only one — useless — option left, a military strike.

Yet the six governments seem determined to continue with what has been their strategy so far. Their condition for negotiating with Iran is a prior halt of its nuclear enrichment activities. Only in exchange for Iran’s permanent renunciation of enrichment will they provide major rewards — from lifting all sanctions and trade restrictions to security guarantees.

Unable to view this article?

This could be due to a conflict with your ad-blocking or security software.

Please add japantimes.co.jp and piano.io to your list of allowed sites.

If this does not resolve the issue or you are unable to add the domains to your allowlist, please see out this support page.

We humbly apologize for the inconvenience.

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.