RT: You were the highest-ranking diplomat dealing solely with Iranian issues. Given your expertise, do you see a real chance that a deal can be made?
John Limbert: I do, but it is going to take time, and it is going to take lots of patience. The rule on these things is whatever you’re going to do is going to take longer than you think. And it is going to be harder than you think.
RT: We’re talking about many years of hostility, 30-plus years of very little other than insults. You’ve likened the diplomacy between the two countries to the land of Narnia: always winter, never Christmas. If no agreement is reached, can a reset of these relations even be possible?
JL: Well, I think what everybody needs to do is to take a deep breath, step back a few steps and look at where we and the Iranians are compared to where we were four to five months ago. For 34 years, as you noted, we and the Iranians did nothing but trade insults and threats with each other. Now we’re talking seriously, this is a major achievement, or possible achievement, but reaching an agreement at the end of the day means putting aside all of the hostility, all of the suspicion. Because lurking in the background is this idea that if I say yes to what they propose, maybe just I’m being cheated.