I don’t think sanctions are going to keep Iran from developing nuclear weapons. I think only our F-16s will. But it’s worth trying sanctions until we absolutely have to choose the military option.
Obama has one more shot at making sanctions work. It involves an aircraft carrier
The Defense Authorization bill that he recently signed created an oil export embargo against Iran through restrictions on dealings with Iran’s national bank. Obama insisted on language in the bill that allows for waivers that could keep Iran’s oil flowing. And Obama released a signing statement saying, in essence, that he doesn’t have to enforce the provisions if he doesn’t want too.
In order to make sanctions work, Obama must do two things. He must ignore these caveats, and he must send an aircraft carrier through the Strait of Hormuz.
Why the latter?
Because Iran has threatened to attack the USS John C. Stennis aircraft carrier if it returns to the Persian Gulf. The carrier recently left the Gulf and steamed through the Strait of Hormuz into the North Arabian Sea.
Obama must buttress the sanctions by showing that the military card is on the table and that he is not cowed by Iranian threats. He should immediately turn the Stennis around and have it sail right back through the Strait with flags flying and speakers blaring John Phillips Sousa marches.
This will let Iran know that the Old Obama, who begged for negotiations and asked politely for our downed drone back, is gone, and the New Obama is willing to enforce the new sanctions and blow up Iran’s nukes if the sanctions don’t work.
Unfortunately, my suspicion is that the Old Obama is still with us.