Political initiatives to resolve the Iraqi crisis usually attract much attention. The International Baghdad Conference on10 March drew together IraqÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s regional and international partners for a one day conference. The spotlight however was more than anything else on the US delegates, Ambassadors David Satterfield and Zalmay Khalilzad, and the Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister, Abbas Araghchi.
Many analysts asked whether IranÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s seat at the table implied recognition of its regional importance. Whether US recognition of IranÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s role in the region would facilitate a drop in violence in Iraq? Whether direct negotiations at the regional conference could help end 28 years of animosity between Iran and the United Sates? Whether the meeting could affect the outcome of the Iranian nuclear file at the UN Security Council?
But all the above really boiled down to one simple, central question: Is Iran ready to earnestly negotiate with the US?