June 24, 2015 | Quote

Obama Gains Leeway to Extend Iran Talks If Deadline’s Missed

President Barack Obama has growing political leeway to extend the Iran nuclear negotiations if there’s no deal by the June 30 deadline set seven months ago.

An extension of the talks by days — or longer — seems increasingly likely as Iran and most of the other world powers involved in the negotiations have signaled doubt about being able to resolve all the issues in the next week.

A former Obama administration adviser, an architect of American sanctions against Iran and an influential U.S. lawmaker all have said the deadline matters less than the outcome, and the State Department’s spokesman said as much on Tuesday.


An advocate for sanctions who helped lawmakers devise existing restrictions, Mark Dubowitz, executive director of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, said much the same thing, though faulting the administration for the concessions it’s already made in reaching the framework for a deal in April in Lausanne, Switzerland.

“The Obama administration has proven itself unable to convert the threat of new congressional sanctions into enhanced leverage and better negotiating positions,” Dubowitz said in an e-mail on Tuesday. “Maybe, with more time and under no deadline pressure, the administration might finally hold the line on the few remaining issues where it hasn’t yet caved.”


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