Despite the Obama Administration’s optimistic rhetoric about sealing a nuclear deal with Iran, Tehran again has thrown a monkey wrench into the nuclear negotiations by failing to meet today’s deadline to accept a United Nations-backed proposal for enriching uranium outside Iran. Instead of giving a yes/no answer, Iranian officials instead offered a counterproposal. The details of the counterproposal have not been released, but they are sure to further muddy the diplomatic waters and obscure the prime focus of the negotiations: to stop Iran’s uranium enrichment activities.

Iran’s diplomatic charade is slap in the face of the Obama Administration which continues to cling to its flawed engagement strategy. As noted on this blog yesterday, Tehran is willing to engage only to the extent that it can defuse international pressure for more sanctions. But it clearly remains determined to continue its uranium enrichment program and gain a nuclear weapon.