Iran is interested in talking about dismantling its nuclear program, not actually dismantling it.
Six months was plenty of time to work out a deal on Iran's nuclear weapons program until it became not enough.
Last November, it was fine. Last week, it became not enough, prompting the United States to announce a four-month extension on its talks with Iran. Joining in the negotiations are Great Britain, Germany, France and China.
But no matter how wide the discussion or how many countries take part, it's a dream to think that Iran is going to do away with or even significantly diminish its plan to join the world's small group of nations armed with nuclear weapons.
Iran, however, is willing to continue to indicate an interest in doing so if the United States keeps easing the economic sanctions that have crippled the Iranian economy.
As the talks will go forth, Iran will collect another $700 million in oil revenues that were frozen abroad. When they prove to be nonproductive, will there be another extension — ad infinitum.
The grim reality is that Iran intends to build a nuclear program that extends far beyond what it claims are its energy needs. Further, there's nothing the United States is going to do, when push comes to shove, to stop it. President Obama has repeatedly rattled his saber on that particular subject, but his bluff isn't fooling anyone.
In that context, what is there to be done? Not reducing, perhaps even stepping up sanctions would be a good start. But even that has its limits because those who govern Iran are not much bothered when life for its citizens gets tough. The Middle East is a dangerous place that will grow ever more dangerous when Iran reaches its end game.