Atlantic Council Senior Adviser Harlan Ullman writes for United Press International on what comes next whether or not there is a nuclear deal with Iran:
In several days time China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States, plus Germany (the P-5 Plus One) nuclear talks with Iran should reach resolution, one way or the other. This is a virtually zero-sum situation. Either both sides will reach an accommodation on how to ensure Iran will not and cannot build nuclear weapons for years to come or they will not. And even if a short extension is reached, at some stage this negotiation will still end.
Of course, no matter if talks succeed or fail, the process is far from over. Critics will attack success or failure, ironically on similar grounds that the P-5 should have been tougher; sanctions should be given more time to work; and Iran cannot be trusted. If there is agreement, implementation will face many tests and challenges. Some fair, others not, as certain members of Congress and certain Middle East capitals will remain adamantly opposed. If there is no agreement, then talk of using military force to deny Tehran nuclear options will surely intensify as will tensions and prospects for crises.