The first negotiations between the P5+1 and Iran on whether on not to extend negotiations have only just gotten underway in the past 24 hours, but already Western officials, by which we primarily mean the United States, are looking to impose new sanctions on Iran on the idea that such talks might fail.
That’s the official reason, at least, and rests on the official talking point that sanctions make Iran more willing to make deals, and that only new sanctions can result in new deals.
But no one really expected the final nuclear deal to be reached in six months, particularly with the Israel Lobby pushing hard against the US making any deal under any circumstances. Western diplomats say the talks could take years, and that means years of officials looking to add sanctions at every opportunity.
That’s bad news for the talks, as Iran’s ultimate goal is to finalize a pact to end the sanctions, and for many Western officials how much they’ve increased the sanctions are themselves the metric of how much progress they’ve made, meaning for them, no deal that ends the sanctions is even comprehensible.