If sanctions aren’t enough, what is?

The neoconservative-led push to convince the world that sanctioning Iran isn’t enough to halt its alleged nuclear ambitions is gaining momentum by the day.

The author(s) of an unsigned August 11 Wall Street Journal article in its “Review and Outlook” section accordingly writes that Iran has been given an “E-Z Pass” for individuals who have been sanctioned for their involvement with its nuclear power program. Iran is accused of exploiting sanction “loopholes” by naming these officials to high government posts to “mock” the UN and the EU. The author then indirectly quotes his/her “friends” at the neoconservative Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD) to argue that the EU and the U.S. aren’t “serious” with their sanctioning efforts.

The piece ends with the appearance of providing a balanced assessment of the pros and cons of sanctions while arguing that they’re actually not helpful at all (emphasis is mine):

Sanctions can play a helpful, if never decisive, role in increasing the costs to Iran for refusing to comply with U.N. resolutions and stop its nuclear programs. But there’s no point in enacting sanctions if there is no serious intention of enforcing them. When the best the international community can do against Iran is a sanctions E-Z Pass, it’s no wonder Iran’s illicit nuclear programs are speeding ahead in broad daylight.

Is this WSJ piece part of the increasingly aggressive hawk-led campaign to push for Iraq-style sanctions on Iran or something more? And as the 2012 U.S. presidential election approaches, how will unchecked pressure to take a hardline approach to Iran affect the candidates’ Mideast policies?

Jasmin Ramsey

Jasmin Ramsey is a journalist based in Washington, DC.



  1. Ah, the war among the clerks continues. Why not rename this space iranlog? Why keep fighting this war of (meaningless) words when earth-shaking events are taking place elsewhere?

  2. The neo-cons are content with the Sword of Damacles hanging over Iran. They’ll keep their powder dry for the right time. An accident at sea, a provocative act, black ops incitement. They’ll keep their guns sighted, waiting, waiting. And, once ANY casus belli happens, they will get to be the ever vigilant, prescient men with all the answers. Of course, it will only be a case of a broken clock being right twice a day.

  3. Can you mix any more metaphors in that comment, Scott?

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