Despite the latest of the Western ultimatums for accepting their demands having passed last week, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says the United States is still open to negotiations with Iran.
“We’ve avoided using the term ‘deadline’ ourselves,” Clinton claimed, “that’s not a term we have used because we want to keep the door to dialogue open.”
Yet the Obama Administration has repeatedly set deadlines, and used the term “deadline” to describe them, since taking office. Most recently, President Obama declared a September deadline for Iran to show “good faith” in agreeing to talks, and an end of 2009 deadline to agree to the draft enrichment deal.
Iran agreed to the talks in September, as the deadline demanded, and offered further talks on the draft enrichment deal in October, which were rejected by the US and other Western nations. Despite the claims that the administration is open to further talks, they have repeatedly said that they will not negotiate on the terms of the draft enrichment deal, seemingly the only prospect for finalizing the deal and ending the standoff.
Secretary Clinton says that the US is moving toward new sanctions against Iran, but insists that unlike previous sanctions these will seek to avoid “contributing to the suffering of ordinary Iranians.” Exactly how this is to be accomplished is not made clear.