The June 30 deadline is fast approaching for a final agreement to limit Iran’s nuclear program, and it’s hard to see how the negotiators can meet it.
That may not be a bad thing.
The gaps are still wide between Tehran and the P5+1 (the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany) on a deal by which Iran would restrict its nuclear program in exchange for the lifting of international sanctions.
Most disturbing: Iran has yet to answer questions put by international inspectors about a suspected nuclear weapons program before 2003. Nor has Tehran agreed to inspection measures designed to ensure that its nuclear energy program remains peaceful.
On the contrary, on Tuesday, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei demanded that most sanctions on Iran be lifted as soon as a deal is inked, before Iran dismantles any nuclear infrastructure and before international inspectors can verify Tehran’s behavior. Khamenei also ruled out inspections of military sites, where suspect work may have, and may yet, happen.