The Obama administration was given the opportunity to eliminate the myths and start a new chapter in U.S. foreign policy. Instead, [the President] scrambled to defend the old policy.
Lack of change domestically [can] be blamed on predecessors or legislatures, but Obama owns his own foreign policy legacy.
Roger Cohen of The New York Times is even sharper in his criticism of Washington, calling for a negotiation between the caricatures of US-Iranian relations but concluding:
Last year, at the United Nations, Obama called for a new era of shared responsibilities. “Together we must build new coalitions that bridge old divides,” he declared. Turkey and Brazil responded — and got snubbed. Obama has just made his own enlightened words look empty.
EA's Ms Zahra offers a far different perspective:
The only language the Iranian system understands is power (zaban-e zoor). Accepting the Iran-Brazil-Turkey declaration as a first step would create another delay of several months. Rejecting it may appear as unwillingness to negotiate, but only from a very superficial perspective. The regime made this diversion on purpose, and Clinton replied, "Who do you think you're fooling?"
Well, let's see, if Tehran finally realises that it has crossed all red lines. If Turkey was really tacitly supported by the US, then it certainly was not for this mockup of treaty. I have the impression that [the Turkish and Brazilian leaders] Erdogan and Lula weren't able to push the Supreme Leader further.
Farideh Farhi, in a wide-ranging interview on the Iranian internal situation and US-Iranian relations, adds this incisive point:
It is very interesting to watch and see the different reactions to this nuclear agreement in the past few days and compare that to the kind of reaction that occurred when the previous agreement was announced last October. This time there is the sense to me that a very large sector of the Iranian elite are being called upon to support this deal. The kind of disagreement that manifested itself last time I do not see. There have been important voices that have objected to this deal, but, for example, 200 of the 290 members of the parliament say they support the agreement. And last year, for example, the Speaker of the Parliament Ali Larijani strongly opposed the deal. This time he told the
people to be united. Even some important individuals considered to be more reform-oriented have written editorials talking about these being very critical times for Iranian history. You get a real sense that a high-level decision has been made to push for an agreement and to try to resolve the nuclear issue.