Middle East Peace, Iran Deal on Kerry's Wish List

And what he's likely to end up getting.

Wish: An Iran Nuclear Deal

Reality: Talks have been extended for a third time until July, and with the incoming Republican congressional majority in 2015, success is even more precarious. Most Senate GOPers have already pledged to block almost any deal that comes out of this round. What seems most likely to happen this year is a vote on a trigger for new sanctions against Iran.

Wish: Meaningful Climate Change Action

Reality: Cutting emissions to those levels is not enough, said Karen Orenstein, the senior international policy analyst at Friends of the Earth. She praised Kerry’s rhetorical focus on climate change, but said the agreement is “totally out of sync with what science demands from the U.S. in order to keep the world from catastrophic climate change.” Next year is also the year Kerry could make a decision over the Keystone XL pipeline, a rallying point for both liberal and conservative climate activists. His State Department is in charge of making a recommendation to Obama over whether to go forward with the project.