An internal Foreign Ministry document maintains that the additional sanctions imposed on Iran in recent months have caused far more damage to the Iranian economy than previous believed and have sparked additional domestic criticism of the regime.
Against this backdrop, Israel has stepped up its efforts to have the European Union impose another round of sanctions, a senior ministry official said. [...]
Officials at the Foreign Ministry acknowledge that, despite the heavy damage the sanctions have inflicted, there has been no change in the position of Iran’s supreme religious leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, regarding his country’s nuclear program. Nonetheless, Foreign Ministry officials believe this is a good time to mobilize the international community to impose an addition round of sanctions that might force the Iranians to soften their stance and agree to a compromise on the issue of uranium enrichment.
While you have the backing of Barack Obama saying that “a nuclear-armed Iran is not a challenge that can be contained,” which effectively means (as he’s been saying all along!) that a military strike, should it come to that, is not off the table, the main priority should be to push crippling sanctions. Urging a strike before X date, or Y time is not the way to go. Especially doing so publicly, and then whinging that you can’t get a meeting with Obama to whinging about it even more (cough cough, Bibi).
Iran, for the moment, is not near enough to anything to be considering a strike that, in all likelihood, would only buy a few years anyway. The answer is to build up internal pressure on the ayatollahs, and on Ahmadinejad, so that they need to focus their efforts on, ya know, like clothing and feeding their people.
The King of Jordan, on the Daily Show also mentioned something interesting, an extension of something I’ve been writing about here for ages now — solving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict will create a region-wide force against Iran’s nuclear program. Peace with the Gulf states and Iraq, as well as with Jordan and Egypt will create a great buffer against Iran — they won’t want Iran and Israel waging nuclear war on each other with them in the crossfire.
Let the drums of war quiet down. We still have more options.