When Barack Obama started his effort to bring universal health coverage, he initially tried to get some Republican support for his efforts by offering to adjust his plans to their concerns. He tried to tailor his plans to win the support of Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley and of Maine Senator Olympia Snowe. In every case, whenever he made a requested change, the response was the he or she still could not accept it. Sometimes this was accompanied by some additional change that would be necessary, sometimes not. Eventually, Obama came to the realization that the Republican idea on negotiating health reform was to keep saying that an agreement was just over the horizon so that Obama would waste his time seeking an agreement thus limiting what else he could do. In the case of health reform, running out the clock would have meant continuing the negotiations until Ted Kennedy succumbed to brain cancer, thus eliminating any chance that Obama could achieve a partisan bill in the absence of any Republicans agreeing to universal coverage.
Such is the case with Iran's nuclear negotiating strategy. Whether or not you agree with my assessment of the Republicans' health care negotiation strategy, it is highly likely that those arguing that we should just give the negotiations with Iran more time to succeed would and a certainty among those in the administration. In the case of Iran, "running out the clock" would mean continuing the negotiations until Iran develops enough fuel to reach breakout capacity. At that point, Iran could build several nuclear weapons in response to any punitive action and have them ready before those measures achieve any impact. The one possible exception would be an Operation Iranian Freedom undertaken without debate, but in which the President declared the clerical regime was negotiating in bad faith and the next day troops would land in Khuzestan and in Sistan and Beluchistan with an advance to Tehran as quick as Operation Iraqi Freedom's advance to Baghdad.
It is time to do in the negotiations with Iran over their nuclear developments what Obama did in his negotiations with the Republicans over health reform.