Ahmadi's Game

Enduring America analyzes Ahmadinejad's speech on negotiations:

That is not a rejection of discussions with the “West”; it is an embrace of them. But it is an embrace based on the premise that the US and other countries have knocked at Tehran’s door, gone down on bended knee, and asked forgiveness. Iran is no longer an international outsider; it is an accepted nuclear power.

...[G]iven Ahmadinejad’s position, the political advantages of spinning out the talks are there to be grasped. If there are alterations in the plan to reduce the amount shipped below 80 percent and to send it out in stages rather than in one delivery, these will be concession to Iran’s and the President’s strength. If the “West” walks away from the table, this will be an indication of their continuing deceptions and mistakes despite their apparent request for forgiveness from Tehran and Iran will be in the right as it maintains nuclear sovereignty.

Of course, there will be pressure in the US Congress for sanctions (the House of Representatives, despite the ongoing talks, has already passed a measure for tougher economic restrictions). Those, however, are President Obama’s worry, as Russia and China are unlikely to give any support for multilateral steps.