Simon Tisdall - one of the more reliably wrong-headed Guardian writers - is, predictably enough, very keen on a nuclear deal with Iran. The chance must not be spurned:
The US-led ostracism of this proud, talented and historically pro-western nation has lasted far too long. It has been immensely damaging for Iranians, Europeans and the region. It has encouraged political and religious hardliners on all sides, at a time when productive, moderating, cooperative relationships with Muslim countries are badly needed.
A deal could be done this week. It certainly should be.
I love that "historically pro-western". There has, unfortunately, been the small matter of a revolution, back in 1979, when the pro-western shah was overthrown in favour of a vigorously anti-western theocracy. Those chants of "death to America" are a bit of a clue.
There's some truth in what Tisdall writes, of course. Bubbling away under the black blanket of the mullahs is a vibrant culture which longs to be free of the theocratic excesses. But a deal would be a deal with the mullahs, not the people. A lifting or easing of the sanctions would be a lifeline for the regime, battling against economic disaster. If we want to help those pro-western elements within Iranian society, an agreement which strengthens the rule of the hard-liners is really not the way to go.
It's also absurd - not to mention dangerously naive - to imagine that, by showing them the hand of friendship, the Iranian regime will start to play nice, and suddenly become a moderating force in the region. Everything we know about them points precisely in the opposite direction.
These are theocrats, not would-be liberals.