Romney’s campaign had no comment Saturday, but Republicans said they expect Iran, and Saturday’s news, to take center stage in the final debate of the presidential cycle Monday, which will focus on foreign policy.

“This whole thing should be a gift for Mitt,” said a Republican operative who works on foreign policy. “It’s an embarrassing reminder of how little progress they’ve made on Iran and it comes on the eve of the foreign policy debate.”…

President Obama promised an extended hand — he even said, on the campaign trail in 2008, that he would meet the leader of Iran, something that never occurred. Obama was slow to forcefully support the Iranian opposition during the 2009 “Green Revolution,” and held out hope of a diplomatic breakthrough that hasn’t come.

It’s a notable failure in a foreign policy marked by the end of the war in Iraq, an increase in drone strikes on suspected terrorists and crowned by the killing of Osama bin Laden — things Obama is far more eager to discuss Monday night.