There had been talk of sanctions on Iran’s Central Bank, but apparently the administration has decided not to proceed with that option, which is one of the few sanctions measures that could apply real pressure on the regime–for fear that it would do damage to global oil markets and the U.S. economy. If we are not willing to suffer any collateral damage, not even economic damage, to stop the Iranian program, then that suggests we are not serious about stopping it. (…)
Really stopping the Iranian program would require much tougher steps on the part of the U.S.–steps such as a naval blockade to cripple the Iranian economy and/or air strikes to cripple Iran’s military capacity. Neither is in the offing. Nor, as far as I can tell, is there any serious American-led effort to foment peaceful regime change in Tehran–something ardently desired by most Iranians who have been fed up by years of theological misrule.
So amid all the recriminations and rhetoric this week, the reality will remain unchanged: Iran continues its march to nuclear status, while the West stands by ineffectually watching.