I am very pleased by the reports today of agreements made yesterday in the 5+1 talks with Iran, despite natterings by various nabobs of negativism and paranoid hysteria. The posts for the past two days by Juan Cole at http://www.juancole.com are in my mind very useful. He reminds people of some basics that are regularly forgotten in the drumb beat of propaganda that most of the US media hands out about Iran. It has not invaded another country since the 1700s; it has an official policy (based on a fatwa by its Supreme Leader) against acquiring nuclear weapons; it has an official policy of no first strikes (fitting in with its long history of non-aggression); all the uranium it has enriched is at a level far below being able to be used for nuclear weapons; both the IAEA and an official NIE of the US government (from the Bush presidency) state that it does not have an active nuclear weapons program. And, to add to all that, the democratic opposition to the current government opposes increasing sanctions on Iran.
In any case, it now looks like Obama made good use of his private conversation with Putin, which went on for much longer than expected and out of which there were no reports, given the constructive role that Russia is playing at this time in regard to this situation. Sometimes there is good news, and it does appear that having a president who is both smart and well informed is a good thing once in awhile.