The distorted picture of the negotiations that has been conveyed by the Obama administration and the media has reinforced the argument made by U.S. supporters of Israel that Iran is really only interested in positioning itself to make a lunge for nuclear weapons. It feeds into a narrative about a covert Iranian nuclear-weapons program that has been constructed over the past decade based largely on documentary evidence of highly dubious authenticity.
The Obama administration undoubtedly wants to reach an agreement with Iran on the nuclear issue. It will inevitably face a very tough political fight with the Congressional forces aligned with Israeli policy in the coming months over a final agreement. It badly needs to walk back the false narrative about the Iran nuclear program that it has embraced in the past to gain leverage over Iran. But for obvious reasons, it may be impossible to do so.
Gareth Porter is an independent investigative journalist and historian who was the 2012 winner of the UK-based Gellhorn Prize for Journalism. His latest book is Manufactured Crisis: The Untold Story of the Iran Nuclear Scare, published by Just World Books in February 2014.