The Obama administration is preparing the ground for tougher sanctions on Iran by pushing to revive last year's ill-fated fuel swap deal. The renewed proposal to swap Iran's low enriched uranium for research reactor fuel is not a serious attempt at engagement, as the Unites States knows it will likely fail. Instead, it is intended to depict the United States as a reasonable negotiating partner, and Iran as a duplicitous state bent on obtaining the bomb at all costs. This could increase support for harsher international sanctions that are more strictly implemented.
Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad's appointments of special envoys for foreign affairs is seen as a direct challenge to the country's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
The diplomatic benefits of an undiplomatic outburst.
When Recep Tayyip Erdogan stormed out of a panel discussion with Israel’s President Shimon Peres in Davos last January, denouncing Israel’s offensive in Gaza and quoting the sixth commandment “Thou shalt not kill”, many wondered whether he had just demolished Turkey’s position as the bridge between the Jews and the Arabs, and between the West and the Islamic world.