If Sanctions Have Already Collapsed, We Know the Outcome of the Iran Talks

The deadline is fast approaching for the completion of the draft of the Iran nuclear agreement. When the framework was announced last month, the assumption was that the deal would soon be put on paper. But it soon became clear that there were serious differences on key issues between Iran and the West about the final terms of the pact that had to be hammered out in negotiations. President Obama has insisted that he will not budge on his insistence that Iran agree to sanctions being lifted on a delayed basis and be able to be “snapped back” in the event of Tehran violating the deal, the imposition of intrusive nuclear inspections and that it will be forced to give up its stockpile of enriched uranium. But confidence that he will stand his ground in the talks is being undermined daily by evidence that the economic sanctions that brought Iran to the table are already breaking down. As Eli Lake reports at BloombergView, the delivery of nine used commercial airliners in Iran for use by Mahan Air illustrates that the ground on which Obama is standing is falling apart. If sanctions can’t be kept now, why would Iran give in on any of these issues, let alone fear they would be re-imposed later?