For talks that are down to the wire, the nuclear negotiations in Lausanne seem to be lingering at the finish line for quite a while – giving news outlets plenty of time to churn out dramatic headlines heralding an imminent breakthrough. “Spinning towards agreement,” quipped The Economist, adding in the underline – in small print – that with only one day to go (after one more extension), “there is still work to be done to convince the skeptics.”
“Diplomats Near Consensus,” Foreign Policy declared on Tuesday morning; but as the negotiators “blew past” their self-imposed deadline, described by Business Insider as “crucial,” a new headline resignedly announced that that talks had “dragged into overtime” later in the day.
The prolonged, “gloomy” zero hour caused some outlets to speculate if the deal being fervently hammered out in Lausanne will work out at all, with CS Monitor outlining all the obstacles still standing in its path – including the persisting lack of trust between the parties – and The Independent ascribing the delay to “repeated consultation” with Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Bloomberg, meanwhile, weighed how long the stand-off should go on after already missing their deadline.
But there was one journalist who wasn’t speculating on Tuesday: Iranian reporter Amir Hossein Motaghi, who defected to Europe last week in the midst of the talks. Motaghi, who was said to be close to both jailed Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, sought asylum in Switzerland after realizing that his work made no “sense” so long as it was censored to serve as a mouthpiece for the Iranian government. A dramatic development, no doubt, but apparently not enough to generate more headlines than that elusive nuclear breakthrough.