Come on — you’re surprised, right? Right? My good friend and colleague Guy Benson is shocked, shocked that the deadline for a deal with Iran will slip once again:
@guypbenson YOU LIE! You're not surprised.
— Ed Morrissey (@EdMorrissey) June 29, 2015
A senior U.S official in Vienna said negotiators will not make tomorrow’s deadline on an agreement on Iran’s nuclear program.
And while those involved in the talks are willing to spend a few more days hammering out details, no one will agree to a long term extension. They are also not willing to renegotiate what they say Iran agreed to in April.
The U.S. and five other world powers have crafted a framework of a deal with Iran to keep it from developing nuclear weapons. Despite recent statements from the Ayatollah Ali Khamenei indicating Iran could be backtracking from the “framework” agreement negotiated in Lausanne in April, the official said “the agreement will be based on the Lausanne parameters. Period. “
For now, the Obama administration says they won’t budge from April’s framework. Josh Earnest insisted that the US would walk away if Iran tried to undo previous agreements:
“If the Iranians refuse to agree to final agreement that’s not consistent with framework there won’t be an agreement,” White House press secretary Josh Earnest said on Monday.
Their lips say no, no, no, but their eyes say please:
The Washington Post plays along this morning:
Responding to critics who fear that the United States may be making too many concessions, the official said Washington is sticking to principles outlined in a framework agreement announced April 2 in Lausanne, Switzerland.
“Why would we put ourselves through this, why would our teams be here for as long as they have been, why would we be spending the hours doing this in the way we are if we were to just say, ‘Whatever you want, you got’?” the official said, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss the closed-door talks. “This is a very tough negotiation.”
Sure it is. This entire farce has been marked with such toughness as caving on military-site inspections, interviewing military scientists, giving Iran state-of-the-art nuclear technology, and lifting sanctions while the mullahs conduct wars in the region by terrorist proxy. It may just be a coincidence that Iranian-backed Houthi rebels deposed a popularly elected Yemeni government backed by the West and Saudi Arabia since the sanctions got eased to get to an agreement, but it’s easier to buy that when you believe in the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy. This has never been a “tough” negotiation, and the Iranians know it — which is why they’re still manipulating the West and drawing out the negotiations even further. For instance, the Iranian foreign minister made a show of walking away from the negotiations briefly, and allowed himself to be wheedled back to the table. US sources considered that a test of Iranian good faith, but it’s more a test of Western resolve.
They have used that strategy for years in an attempt to buy more time for a nuclear-weapon fait accompli and to split the West. The only difference between then and now is that the West wasn’t gullible enough to pay the Iranians for drawing the process out by lifting sanctions for nothing else but talk in exchange. That move is almost certainly irreversible; Russia and China won’t “snap back” on sanctions with their client state, and it’s not even clear that our partners in Europe will either. That means that Barack Obama and John Kerry have to produce an agreement or look like saps, and the Iranians know that, too.
Dana Perino suggests we screen-cap the headline:
Remember this headline: U.S. is holding firm in Iran nuclear talks, official says (WP)
— Dana Perino (@DanaPerino) June 30, 2015
When (and if) Kerry and Obama get their little piece of paper to wave over their heads, this will be a headline to revisit. And a good time to start demanding a missile umbrella, too, especially for Israel and eastern Europe.