UPDATE: Scott Peterson of the Christian Science Monitor writes:
On the P5+1 side, the "offer" put on the table earlier this year –
which US and European diplomats say privately they would never accept
for themselves, if they were in Iran's position – was widely deemed to
have been a necessity of the White House before the Nov. 6, presidential
election, so that Obama would not be open to accusations that he was
"soft" on Iran by offering concessions...
Some of the unilateral American measures have been voted on unanimously, and many limit Obama's diplomatic latitude by allowing only Congress to lift them, not the president. The new measures under consideration now would be attached to a much larger defense bill.
There are reports of renewed talks between Iran and the P5+1 over Iran's nuclear program. I'm sort of getting bored by restating this over and over for the last few years: These talks will not go anywhere, for the very simple reason that Iran's nuclear program is not, and never was, the real issue. The "Iranian nuclear threat" is just a pretext, cooked up by the US as a pretext and justification for a policy of imposing regime-change in Iran, just as "WMDs in Iraq" was a pretext. And the LAST THING the US wants is for this issue to be resolved peacefully, with the regime left in power. So, every once in a while they put on a show of talks, but then impose demands that are intended to torpedo any chances of a resolution.
As Barbara Slavin reports, this is happening yet again:
The “refreshed” proposal includes spare parts for Iran’s aging Western jetliners — a perennial carrot — and assistance with Iran’s civilian nuclear infrastructure but no specific promise of sanctions relief, Al-Monitor has learned.
Perhaps as a result, Iranian officials appear to be in no hurry to agree to a date to meet again with the so-called P5 +1 – the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany.
Following US presidential elections, US officials began mulling a more generous proposal but have settled for a conservative position. Iran will be expected to agree to concessions before knowing exactly what it would get in return.People thought that once Obama enters his second term, and didn't have to worry about being re-elected, he would grow a pair and be more forceful in the face of the pro-Israel lobby, but that was naive thinking. Obama is merely a face. He is part of the Democrat party, which has no intention of ticking off Israel either. After all, President Obama didn't fall from the sky. He's very much part of the system, just as previous presidents were, a system that has been fundamentally penetrated and hopelessly corrupted.