Well, actually, the deadline was yesterday, but that’s all gone, obviously.
White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest today refused to put a new time limit on talks with the Iranians over their attempts to build a nuclear weapon, saying the conversations had been “productive” and should continue.
The latest reports out of Lausanne, Switzerland, where the negotiations are taking place, state that significant obstacles remain to closing a deal.
Earnest said it was important to finish up because “two or three months” would be required to work out technical details. But if as little as two months might do the trick, and with the next deadline June 30, it could mean the White House would allow the current round of negotiations to proceed for some time.
That the White House would continue past its declared deadline is a sure signal to the Iranians of desperation. Obama has staked his foreign policy, and even his second term, on the conclusion of an Iran bomb deal. The Iranians know this and will extract concessions accordingly.
Any good negotiator knows that you have to project to your antagonist that you can live without an agreement. And that is the opposite of what we are seeing here.