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Obama at Saban

Lee Smith thinks the issue is settled, that Obama has taken the military option off the table:

One early clue that the administration had already discounted the military option was its opposition to imposing sanctions. The strategic purpose of sanctions was not to destroy the Iranian economy, or even just to force the regime to the negotiating table. Rather, as many Treasury Department officialssaw it, the sanctions regime would prevent the Iranians from obtaining the material (procurement, construction, etc.) needed for a nuclear weapons program. By denying the regime access to the international financial system, sanctions would hinder its ability to buy and build what it needed to make a bomb. From this perspective, the sanctions regime is not just an alternative to military strikes but a foreshadowing of them, conveying one clear message: You will never acquire the physical infrastructure for a nuclear weapons program. Should you somehow manage to skirt the sanctions regime, we will take action to destroy those facilities.

Smith neatly puts the lie to Obama’s and Kerry’s claim that sanctions were a means to negotiations. ¬†They were a prevention mechanism in themselves.

Posted in Foreign Policy.