WaPo Deputy Editorial Page Editor Jackson Diehl:
Obama sent a conciliatory public message to Iranians, and the United States joined in a multilateral proposal for new negotiations on its nuclear program. The regime responded by announcing another expansion of its uranium enrichment facility and placing an American journalist on trial for espionage....The President, in his March 24 press conference:
Obama is not the first president to discover that facile changes in U.S. policy don't crack long-standing problems.
Q: Mr. President, you came to office pledging to work for peace between Israel and the Palestinians. How realistic do you think those hopes are now, given the likelihood of a prime minister who is not fully signed up to a two-state solution and a foreign minister who has been accused of insulting Arabs?If only the President had as much patience and persistence as the nation's editorial page editors.
OBAMA: It's not easier than it was, but I think it's just as necessary....
How effective these negotiations may be, I think we're going to have to wait and see....
You know, leaders from the two sides of Northern Ireland that, you know, a couple of decades ago -- or even a decade ago -- people would have said could never achieve peace, and here they were, jointly appearing and talking about their commitment, even in the face of violent provocation.
And what that tells me is that, if you stick to it, if you are persistent, then, then these problems can be dealt with.
That whole philosophy of persistence, by the way, is one that I'm going to be emphasizing again and again in the months and years to come as long as I'm in this office. I'm a big believer in persistence....
When it comes to Iran, you know, we did a video, sending a message to the Iranian people and the leadership of the Islamic Republic of Iran. And some people said, well, they did not immediately say that we're eliminating nuclear weapons and stop funding terrorism. Well, we didn't expect that. We expect that we're going to make steady progress on this front.