Secretary of State John Kerry is saying this morning that a deal with Iran was done, but the Iranians "couldn't take it."

Yesterday, Kerry was saying "no deal is better than a bad deal, and we are certainly adhering to that concept."

Whatever the deal was, why for the past five months has the U.S. been carefully and quietly backing off the very economic sanctions Iran demands be lifted as a condition for the deal presently being negotiated in Geneva?

A preemptive cave-in?

The Daily Beast's Eli Lake and Josh Rogin reported Nov. 8 that "the Obama administration began softening sanctions on Iran after the election of Iran's new president in June, months before the current round of nuclear talks in Geneva or the historic phone call between the two leaders in September.

"A review of Treasury Department notices reveals that the U.S. government has all but stopped the financial blacklisting of entities and people that help Iran evade international sanctions since the election of its president, Hassan Rouhani, in June."

In the six weeks prior to Rouhani's June 14 election, the Treasury Department issued seven notices of blacklisting firms and individuals who violated the sanctions. Since then, Treasury has issued only six such notices.

Give 'em what they want

Apparently, the Obama-Kerry strategy has been to start giving Iran what it wants before the talks began in the hope that Tehran would respond with concessions of its own.

Maybe that's what would happen in an alternative universe inhabited only by rational people somewhere, but Obama and Kerry are dealing with the world's biggest supporter of anti-American terrorism.

Rationality, to Tehran, is whatever advances their goal to develop a nuclear bomb that can be detonated on Jerusalem, Riyadh or any other strategic point in the Middle East.

Clearing Iran's path

If your goal is to be the preeminent power in the Middle East, two things are required: Ejecting U.S. influence from the region and possessing the bomb that makes you the power to whom everybody else must accommodate.

As Mark Dubowitz, executive director of the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies told the Daily Beast:

“Sounds like Obama decided to enter the Persian nuclear bazaar to haggle with the masters of negotiation and has had his head handed to him.”

On today's Washington Examiner

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The Washington Post: Deal delayed by Iranians who need to consult their leaders in Tehran.

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Daily Caller: Who are the real extremists, the Tea Party or Obama and the new Democratic party?

Lefty Playbook

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American Prospect: Who's on first? With John Boehner, it's always the Senate.