by Barry Rubin
For more than a year I have repeatedly pointed out that the Obama Administration's strategy of increasing the level of sanctions against
Now President Obama once again assures us in early April:
"My hope is that we are going to get this [sanctions] done this spring. So I'm not interested in waiting months for a sanctions regime to be in place, I'm interested in seeing that regime in place in weeks."
Over and over again we were assured, apparently without basis, that
Now there is more news. It is April and there are no immediate prospect for sanctions. Indeed, the issue is not even on the agenda for the UN Security Council this month. In May, the rotating presidency goes to
June, anyone? Just remember that spring ends June 22 and no doubt we will be discussing the lack of increased sanctions on the day summer begins.
Government officials who are well-informed tell me they believe there might not be any increased sanctions at all.
I repeat: It now seems to be a race between
To be fair, some companies have stopped gasoline sales to Iran, possibly due to behind-the-scenes U.S. pressure but Iran has been able to make up for the deficit easily on the spot market. There has been some decline in Iranian exports, perhaps merely temporary, as countries like
The problem is that this kind of action doesn't amount to a great deal compared to what could be accomplished by either a multinational effort of willing countries--
This massive failure regarding
So what does it mean when President Obama tells the New York Times that
How is it misguided if Tehran has shown that it can get nuclear weapons and long-range missiles in the face of a declared Western attempt to stop it but which in fact extracts little additional cost? Looks pretty well guided to me, as well guided as are
This was the first test of this administration's foreign policy philosophy and ability. The challenge was not necessarily to stop
Barry Rubin is director of the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center and editor of the Middle East Review of International Affairs (MERIA) Journal.
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