They gave it away up front
One of the talking points in defense of the nuclear deal is that Iran has a "moderate" government now. Never mind the fact that the Supreme Leader of Iran actually runs things and his favorite song is "Death to America". But in fact Obama Inc was offering to recognize Iran as a nuclear power even when Ahmadinejad was around.
According to the Supreme Leader of Iran, this was the message Obama had back in 2011.
'We want to solve the nuclear issue and lift sanctions within six months, while recognizing Iran as a nuclear power.'
So much for the idea that this bad deal was the result of tough Iranian bargaining.
Hossein Sheikh Al-Islam, an advisor to Majlis Speaker Ali Larijani, said that John Kerry had relayed a letter to Tehran recognizing Iran's enrichment rights: "We came to the [secret] negotiations [with the U.S.] after Kerry wrote a letter and sent it to us via Oman, stating that America officially recognizes Iran's rights regarding the [nuclear fuel] enrichment cycle."
"They were in contact with Omani officials, including the relevant figure in the Omani administration. He was a friend of U.S. Secretary of State [John Kerry]. Back then Kerry was not yet secretary of state, he acted as head of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee...
"After Rohani's government began working [in August 2013] – this was during Obama's second term in office – a new [round of] negotiations between Iran and the P5+1 was launched. By this time, Kerry was no longer a senator but had been appointed secretary of state. [But even] before this, when he was still senator, he had already been appointed by Obama to handle the nuclear dossier [vis-à-vis Iran] and later [in December 2012] he was appointed secretary of state. Before this, the Omani mediator, who was in close touch with Kerry, told us that Kerry would soon be appointed secretary of state. In the period of the secret negotiations with the Americans in Oman, there was a more convenient atmosphere for obtaining concessions from the Americans."
Kerry had ties to the Iran Lobby and it appears that he was aggressively pushing this even while in the Senate. This was typical for Kerry who tried to do the same thing with Marxist terrorists in Latin America. It also appears that Iran had good inside information into the administration, but didn't actually understand how the government worked, which again made Senator Cotton's letter necesarry.