The already sluggish diplomacy surrounding Iran's nuclear program could get even trickier shortly. Right now, the United States is part of a six-nation group--which includes China, Russia, Britain, France, and Germany--developing international sanctions and incentives for Iran.
It turns out, though, that Iran's top trading partner in Europe is actually Italy--and it wants in on negotiations. American officials support the move, but France and Germany are opposed, says an Italian official. And that could present a problem, since Italy has a lot of business to lose through strong sanctions--and more leverage with Iran than some others. "Italy," the official says, "wants to be included."
By Anna Mulrine