This past week talks between the the major powers and Iran on its nuclear program have repeatedly been extended. This past week almost all of the reporters on location have been convinced that an agreement would be announced any day. In my interactions with some of them I heard, its complicated and they are going over ever detail carefully. I have an alternative theory- Before this round of talks began the Leader of Iran Ali Khamenei gave a speech outlying his red lines. Observers wrote them off as posturing, I suspect that this is not the case that Khamenei might have meant what he said. The Iranians I believe were sure that the West would cave, as they have done before, and my sense is that Secretary of Kerry might have been inclined to make further concessions but President Obama was not wiling to do so.
If you are reading this you are probably saying what is he smokin, but hear me out. Two weeks ago I believe that President Obama might have been more flexible- before the recent Supreme Court decisions sealed his place in history. His accomplishments in the domestic arena are set, he does not need this agreement to secure his place in history, a bad agreement could just destroy his future reputation. So neither side is willing to give in, but neither side want to give up- we have a stalemate.
Everything I just wrote is purely speculative- but its as good an explanation of events this past week in Vienna as any