In the hands of a president that was tough enough to mean what he said when he threatened to walk away from nuclear talks with Iran if it didn’t get what it wanted, a negotiating deadline would be an effective tool to obtain the West’s objectives. But over the course of the last two years, the Obama administration has realized that when a deadline loomed they were the only players in the diplomatic standoff that started to sweat. The Iranians quickly learned that faced with the prospect of President Obama’s cherished dream of a new détente with their regime, the West preferred concessions to walkouts and accordingly stiffened their stands on outstanding issues. That’s why the U.S. has treated every such recent deadline as a flexible rather than a rigid concept, a decision that was repeated when first the June 30 date for an end to the talks and then the July 7th date that was regarded as the true end point passed without either an agreement or the U.S. team packing their bags and leaving Vienna. Even many of the administration’s critics see this as not an altogether bad thing since more talking is to be preferred to another Western collapse. But with their hotel reservations now extended until Saturday, the question arises as to who will benefit from the seemingly endless Iran negotiations?