When Sanctions = War

Andrew Sullivan —  Feb 1 2012 @ 11:47am

The great danger of Obama’s slow diplomatic isolation of Iran and now strangulation of Iran’s economy is that, rather than bring Iran to the table, these policies may now be providing an incentive for Iran to accelerate their nuclear program, rather than suspend it. Which would make war more likely, not less. And it’s tough in an election year for Obama to keep the out-stretched hand if the mullahs buckle or panic. The Obamaites need to be much more serious about negotiations now, if the sanctions are to work in denuclearizing Iran – rather than ensuring the opposite. And the intense pressure of the sanctions may well lead to factions in Iran trying to exact vengeance, which could lead to an accidental war, and kick the neocon case up a notch.

Vali Nasr provides the best summary of the dangers the sanctions policy could now lead to: