This, from David Seaton, pretty much sums it up:
The United States, it's Middle East policy driven by its domestic politics, (read the "Lobby") is trying to strangle Iran. In the neocon, "Grand Strategery", Iraq was basically a stepping stone on the way to regime change in Iran... "real men go to Teheran".
Of course this has all gone terribly wrong. Iran is the winner of the war in Iraq. The United States has been seen to fail in Iraq, and as Tony Karon quoted from the Coen brother's "Miller's Crossing" in Haaretz, "'You run this town because people think you run it.' Ergo, when people realize that you don't, then you no longer do."
Europe is not willing to sacrifice strategic energy supplies to make life easier for a lame duck American president whose short hairs appear to be in the possession of the Israeli Likud.