It may be that Rouhani has concluded his country’s nuclear program is a dead end, and not worth the risks associated with it. If so, that’s a positive development to foster. The challenge would be to advance negotiations along those lines without sparking a reaction from Iranian hard-liners who are likely to see benefit in the possession of nuclear arms.
Rouhani is displaying diplomatic skills that were decisively lacking in his predecessor, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. As a result of this shift, it is essential that the international community recognize that charm and reasonable words are not substitutes for meaningful agreements.
Any talks between the United States and Iran should be seen as preliminary and likely to be part of a long process in order to achieve results. Diplomacy can be slow and frustrating. But handled properly, it is far better than conflict.