Oil Sanctions Against Iran Will Not Be Enough

(Washington Post) Michael Singh - Iran's oil exports have declined from 2.5 million barrels per day to 1.5 million. But Iran is still one of the world's top oil exporters, from which it earns billions in hard currency. And nothing suggests that the drop in earnings has stunted Iran's nuclear program. Iran is enriching uranium faster and to higher levels than ever before. Numerous examples - including Gaddafi's Libya, Saddam Hussein's Iraq and present-day North Korea - demonstrate that such regimes can hold out for a long time in the face of sanctions. To meaningfully increase the pressure, policymakers should identify and exploit the regime's other vulnerabilities. Bolder international efforts to oust the regime of Bashar al-Assad would considerably weaken Tehran's position, as would greater emphasis on interdicting arms and funding flowing to and from Iran. Finally, Washington should bolster the credibility of its military threat. The writer, managing director of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, worked on Middle East issues at the National Security Council from 2005 to 2008.

2012-07-09 00:00:00

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