Has Secretary of State John Kerry and the administration suddenly seen the light? Has the wool been pulled from their eyes and are they now seeing clearly?
Well, not really.
Kerry told Meet the Press today that an extension of the nuclear talks, scheduled to run through June, is “impossible.”
But there’s a huge caveat,as The Hill reports:
“The only chance I can see of an extension at this point in time would be you really have the outlines of the agreement,” Kerry said in an interview that aired on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”
“But if we’re not able to make the fundamental decisions that have to be made over the next weeks, literally, I think it would be impossible to extend,” he said.
“I don’t think we would want to extend at that point. Either you make the decisions to prove your program is a peaceful one or, if you’re unable to do that, it may tell a story that none of us want to hear,” he added.
And how far down are they going to dumb “the outlines of the agreement”? Basically, agreement outlines can be anything the administrations says. They can be as nebulous or specific as the president decides.
But it’s possible that Iran is tiring of the game and wants to pick up it’s nukes and go home, as the Iranian foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif suggested:
“I do not think another extension is in the interest of anyone, as I do not believe this extension was either necessary or useful,” Zarif told a global security conference, meeting in the southern German city of Munich.
“In my view extension is not useful, not conducive to an agreement, and all my energy and focus and that of my colleagues and I’m sure my negotiating partners …. are all focused on reaching an agreement as early as possible.”
Iran will continue to talk as long as the US and western powers continue to give in to their demands. If Kerry wants to declare that an “outline” of a deal has been achieved in order to continue the talks indefinitely — even though the “outline” is largely imaginary — no doubt the Iranians will agree. They have absolutely nothing to lose. And the longer they negotiate, the more desperate the west becomes to avoid a confrontation over their nuclear program.
Iran can afford to be patient. If they wait long enough, they should get everything they need to continue to develop their enrichment program in order to build a nuclear bomb. For those stakes, Supreme Leader Khamenei may be willing to wait until hell freezes over.