Fearing that their negotiating leverage is visibly ebbing away, since it's hard to drive a bargain with Tehran to give up its nuclear programme when Iran is getting what they want (economic relief) anyway.
But there is another theory – that this is precisely what the White House wants. Look at this quotation from Wendy Sherman, the US's top Iran negotiator, giving evidence to a senate committee this week in response to the French trade gambit.
"We hope people don't go to Tehran. That is our preference. But those who go raise hopes that the Rouhani administration's going to have to deliver on. And the only way they can deliver on those hopes is a comprehensive agreement that we will agree to, and that means a verifiable assurance that they are not developing, creating, will have – obtaining a nuclear weapon.
"And so although we don't want people to go, because we think it does send the wrong message, if they do go, it puts pressure, perversely, on the Rouhani administration. Because as far as we have seen to date, there are not deals getting done, but rather people getting first in line in the hope that someday there will be a deal.
It does make you wonder if the White House is perfectly happy with what is happening. The strategy would seem to be to try and buy Tehran off with the promise of trade/money even before the deal is done.
Is this really wise? We should be careful of dangling too juicy a carrot, too close to the horse's mouth, or we might find that the horse just gobbles the carrot, and then – belly full – cannot be coaxed in the right direction?
At that point, to stretch the horse analogy, you have to resort to wielding a big stick. But in 44's case, the debacle over Syria has already taken that option off the table. The public won't wear it, and it probably wouldn't work anyway.
It is – genuinely, no cop out here – too early to say if 44's strategy will work, but make no mistake, it is highly risky.
Pic - "Well, so much for pressure on Persia's economy..."