Another deadline in the nuclear negotiation between Iran and the Permanent 5 +1 (or EU3 + 3) over the restrictions on the Iranian nuclear energy program was not reached on June 30, 2015. To some it may look like the United States and its allies have had a change of heart while others may think that Washington and its allies are trying to secure more concessions from the Iranians. The US and its European Union allies, however, are clearly trying maintain the sanctions and trying to avoid returning Iranian financial assets and funds that they have withheld due to the sanctions regime against Iran. Could this be because Iran’s frozen financial assets and funds have been illegally channeled elsewhere by the US and the EU?
The Stonewalling of a Nuclear Agreement
Since the Lausanne Agreement was reached in Switzerland, the US team negotiating with Iran has, so to speak, changed the goal posts for the nuclear negotiations. In other words, Washington has ignored the framework of the Lausanne Agreement that it made with Iran on April 2, 2015. Instead US Secretary of State John Kerry and the Obama Administration have asked for new concessions from the Iranians on things that an understanding was already reached about. These demands appear to be excuses or pretexts.
During the negotiations between the P5+1 and Iran a good and bad cop strategy has clearly been used by the US and France where either Washington or Paris have stonewalled negotiations. Even the split between the US Congress and the Obama Administration could be part of this two-track approach. Is the Republican Party faction in the US genuinely acting as a spoiler or does some level of establishment cooperation exist between it and the Obama Administration?
Are parallel foreign policies at work or not in the US? While the Obama Administration is engaged in a dialogue with Iran to get as much concessions from it as possible on its nuclear energy program, pressure is being exerted by the US Congress and the Republican Party, which are threatening to disrupt the nuclear negotiations and keep the sanctions regime against Iran. Regardless of what their strategy is or strategies are, the saber rattling definitely helps give an edge to the US negotiating team.