“Time is running short,” the Biden administration clearly warned Iran, declaring that the window for nuclear diplomacy will “not remain open forever.”
These would indeed be strong words if they hadn’t been uttered four months ago. Similarly, the White House’s admonition that a deal must be reached “within weeks,” would have more bite if it hadn’t first been made more than eight weeks ago.
For more than half a year, American diplomats have formulaically repeated these empty threats of ticking clocks and diminishing patience. In the meantime, Tehran actually has moved further away from returning to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) agreement, taking a hardline negotiating stance and expanding its nuclear program to the brink of weapons capability.