In a HARDtalk interview broadcast on 21st of July, Stephen Sackur talks to Robert Baer.
Former CIA Middle East specialist, Robert Baer
President Bush has likened direct diplomatic engagement with Iran to appeasement of Hitler.
But Washington has sent a top US diplomat to meet Iran's nuclear negotiators.
There is also talk of an American diplomatic representation in Tehran.
What is behind this apparent change of strategy?
Robert Baer is a former Middle East specialist with the CIA.
He says America is slowly facing up to the truth that Iran is a regional superpower.
Robert Baer talks to Stephen Sackur
HARDtalk is broadcast on BBC World News at 03:30 GMT, 08:30 GMT, 14:30 GMT, 20:30 GMT and 22:30 GMT.
Hardtalk can also be seen on BBC News at 04:30 & 23:30.