With only days before the P5+1 is scheduled to resume negotiations with Iran over its nuclear “activities”, one would think exerting additional economic sanctions could be viewed as an act of provocation. All visible and available data indicates the Iranians have made considerable efforts be open and accommodating in the initial stages of this long overdue diplomatic engagement.

 

To be met with unrelenting threats, unsubstantiated accusations of being liars and subjected to a demeaning paternalistic “We Are Superior” posture, one could easily understand if Iran decided further discussions would be fruitless. This Israeli driven narrative is hardly creating an environment conducive to fair and constructive dialog.

 As long as such behavior is allowed to contaminate negotiations, the probability of an equitable and lasting agreement will be reduced significantly. One can only surmise and speculate as to the motives for taking such a disagreeable approach if one is seriously seeking an agreement.

If one wanted to sabotage a peaceful outcome to this historic moment, subjecting Iran to more crippling economic sanctions will certainly achieve that goal. The stance being projected by the Israelis during these first small steps is sure to undermine the efforts of those trying to avoid the military option.

Why anyone would intentionally chose a path guaranteed to lead to violence and bloodshed when diplomacy is showing signs of a breakthrough remains a mystery. This is a mystery that must to be solved and it must be solved quickly.

Western negotiators (P5+1) must determine amongst themselves if they actually have the authority to enter an agreement with the Iranians before proceeding further. For any hope of realizing a positive outcome from the next phase of the process, those participating at the highest levels must be able to maneuver unencumbered by hostile forces from the sidelines.

 As long as there remains a higher authority with the intent to scuttle any deal Western negotiators can achieve, then perhaps that “higher authority” should assume the lead role now and John Kerry and company time and energy bumping their gums for naught.

Bottom line: Considering the Israelis have already indicated any agreement, failing to meet all of its preconditions would not be binding on Israel anyway, it might be more expedient to just cut to the chase and launch the air strikes today.