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US allies puzzled by March deadline for Iran deal

The Obama administration, in negotiations with Congress, "bought two months, but sold three," for negotiations for a final Iran nuclear deal, according to a Western diplomat.
U.S. President Barack Obama walks with Saudi Arabia's King Salman (C) at Erga Palace in Riyadh January 27, 2015. Obama sought to cement ties with Saudi Arabia as he came to pay his respects on Tuesday after the death of King Abdullah, a trip that underscores the importance of a U.S.-Saudi alliance that extends beyond oil interests to regional security. REUTERS/Jim Bourg (SAUDI ARABIA - Tags: POLITICS) - RTR4N5P2

The Obama administration considered it a win when it managed to persuade hawkish Senate Democrats last month to delay a vote on Iran sanctions by two months.

But some US administration allies are puzzled that what they consider a soft deadline for a framework agreement for a final Iran nuclear deal has seemingly become the de facto deadline, rather than the June 30 deadline that Iran and the six world powers agreed to in November.

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