Without the threat of pain, Iran’s rulers won’t budge
Experienced negotiators know this: The side most willing to walk away from the table generally wins. The side that seems desperate for a deal loses. Yet President Obama is telling the entire world that he needs an agreement with Iran’s rulers more than they need an agreement with him.
Actually, it’s worse than that. Mr. Obama doesn’t want Congress to tee up new sanctions that would be imposed only if the Iranians refuse to offer serious compromises in the already twice-extended nuclear talks by June 30 — a deadline to which Iran, the United States and its negotiating partners have agreed. In response to such deadline-triggered sanctions, designed solely to enhance U.S. leverage, Mr. Obama contends, the Iranians will walk away from the table. And that, he warns, could lead to a war, which “Congress will have to own.”
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• Clifford D. May is president of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and a columnist for The Washington Times.