Sanctioning Iran


Not that he’ll get any credit for it from the haters, but it seems to me that the UN Security Council’s vote to impose sanctions on Iran counts as a vindication of Barack Obama’s view that taking a more conciliatory approach to the world will help get more cooperation from other world powers on American priorities.

Spencer Ackerman explains what comes next:

This will not be the last effort at sanctioning Iran. U.S. and European officials have talked for months about pivoting off a successful Security Council vote to cobble together a coalition of major Iranian trading partners to tighten the economic screws on the Iranian leadership. Those include the United Arab Emirates, South Korea, Japan, the European Union, China and Russia. But expect conservative voices to continue a push for a total oil embargo on Iran, as a congressional measure to impose additional gas sanctions was deferred for the vote.

Something that I think is worth noting here is that sanctioning Iran isn’t just about Iran and Iran’s nuclear program. It’s about every other country on earth, and all those countries’ hypothetical nuclear programs. The precedent of North Korea makes clear that if you really want a nuclear weapon, the international community probably can’t stop you. But how many world leaders cast a glance at Kim Jong-Il and say “I wish I were that guy”? If Iran continues to refuse to verifiably disarm, we want to make sure that other leaders of mid-sized powers still feel that a price is being paid that’s high enough to induce them to make other choices.