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New Iran Sanctions Inflame Tensions, Isolate U.S.

If you want to make Iranians poorer and more hostile to America, we've got a policy for you!

Alex Edelman/CNP/NewscomAlex Edelman/CNP/NewscomToday Washington imposed sanctions on anybody doing business with Iran's automotive sector. Companies selling car parts and services in Iran could be denied U.S. export licenses, frozen out of government contracts, and have visa applications for their corporate officers rejected. The new sanction also target anyone who helps the Iranian government purchase U.S. banknotes or precious metals.

"The Iran sanctions have officially been cast. These are the most biting sanctions ever imposed, and in November they ratchet up to yet another level," President Donald Trump wrote on Twitter this morning. "Anyone doing business with Iran will NOT be doing business with the United States. I am asking for WORLD PEACE, nothing less!"

The sanctions themselves are hardly a surprise, coming three months after the administration announced it was terminating the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, which lifted financial and trade restrictions on Iran in exchange for limits on the country's nuclear program. They are nevertheless inflaming tensions both within Iran itself and among America's European allies, who were far more committed to the 2015 agreement and whose companies were quick to reinvest in Iran following the rollback of sanctions.

"We deeply regret the re-imposition of sanctions by the U.S.," say the chief diplomats of France, the United Kingdom, Germany, and the European Union in a joint statement. "We are determined to protect European economic operators engaged in legitimate business with Iran."

The E.U. Commission has enacted a statute that prohibits European companies from complying with U.S. sanctions without explicit permission from the European Union. This so-called "blocking statute" gives business a rather nebulous instruction to ignore "any requirement or prohibition" of U.S. Iran sanctions; what exactly this will look like in practice, or what kind of penalties the E.U. might bring against sanction-abiding companies, is anyone's guess. The European law also allows these businesses to recover damages from any institutions helping to enforce U.S. trade sanctions.

This leaves such firms as the French automaker Renault and the German engineering company Siemens—both of whom had invested in Iran's auto industry—between a rock and a hard place, unable to satisfy the mutually exclusive demands of E.U. and U.S. policymakers.

Both companies announced plans to scale back their Iranian dealings prior to today's sanctions. Honeywell, Boeing, General Electric, and other American companies have similarly said they'll be exiting the country.

In Iran itself, the sanctions have sparked protests from citizens increasingly frustrated with their government and its continuing isolation. Reuters reports that crowds of demonstrators numbering between a few dozen to a few hundred took to the streets in Tehran and nearby towns, chanting anti-government slogans like "death to the dictator" and throwing rocks.

Both the Iranian protests and the decision of some European companies to back out of the country have been treated as a win by U.S. National Security Advisor John Bolton, who said Monday that "reimposition of sanctions has already had a major effect."

The Iranian-American commenter Hamid Zangeneh rejects this notion, saying the Trump administration's hardline anti-Iranian actions have only undermined the U.S.'s reputation with the Iranian public.

"In general, Iranians, unlike their government, sentimentally have been pro-American. Yet, they have been shunned by the Trump administration, through the imposition of an unjust travel ban and now resumed sanctions," writes Zangeneh in an article for the Atlantic Council. "The Iranian government has exploited these issues to whitewash social, economic and political failures caused by its own mismanagement and corruption."

It's laughable to think these sanctions will get the country to come to the table, let alone agree to U.S. demands that it open all its military facilities to international inspection, roll back its support for pro-Iranian factions across the Middle East, and become best friends with Israel. At best, this attitude shows a naive belief that threats and bullying will convince the world's nations just to lay down and accept U.S. demands. At worst, it suggests that the Trump administration is not really interested in coming to an agreement with Iran at all.

Photo Credit: Alex Edelman/CNP/Newscom

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  • Don't look at me.||

    Nobody cares what Iran thinks.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Yes, lets enrich the economy of a state sponsor of international terror. Libertarian ideals are good, but without a modicum of sensible pragmatism it will get us all killed.

  • Libertymike||

    "state sponsor of international terror" - did you take that right out of the neo-Cohen playbook?

    Which nation has attacked the neighbors of the other and bombed, droned, forcibly expatriated, killed, maimed, murdered, and starved hundreds of thousands of peeps?

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Iran.

  • Libertymike||

    Wrong.

  • Just Say'n||

    Well done, Libertymike

  • loveconstitution1789||

    No.... 'correct' is the answer to your game.

    But lets play a game where you ask a question and them shoot down the correct answer.

  • sharmota4zeb||

    Libertymike,

    When a nation does it, it is called war or military action. When a non-state entity does it, it is called terrorism.

  • sharmota4zeb||

    You could argue that the USA sponsored terrorism in Syria when we supported the rebels against Assad under the Obama administration.

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    "You could argue that the USA sponsored terrorism in Syria when we supported the rebels against Assad under the Obama administration."

    Yes, one could. Which is one of many reasons I disliked Obama's foreign policy. The man seemed determined to involve us in every third world piss-up going, and didn't really seem like he had a coherent plan as to which side he'd come in on.

  • JoeBlow123||

    Iranian Revolutionary Guards. Google it.

    How do you think the Houthis are getting ballistic missiles to fire into Saudi Arabia? How Hezbollah got their hands on anti-ship cruise missiles? Or the proliferation of Iranians across Iraq and Syria?

    The Iranian government are assholes, there is zero reason to trade with assholes or to allow our supposed allies to trade with assholes. It is doing nothing but enriching jackasses who like to kill Americans and individuals from governments friendly to the USA. The Europeans can have a vote when they start patrolling the Middle East and securing their own sea lines of communication. Until then America tells them to hop and they hop.

  • Dizzle||

    Largely the people are too. Much like south American socialists theyll rail against their current leader when shit goes sideways but they're too ignorant and indoctrinated to realize its the inherent system they believe in that is failing them, not just the leader himself. In south America its socialism, in the mid east and western Asia its sharia based governing.

  • Just Say'n||

    "If you want to make Iranians poorer and more hostile to America, we've got a policy for you!"

    Yeah, agreed. Now how do you justify this opposition to Iran sanctions with Reason's Cathy Young front page article that enthusiastically called for more Russian sanctions?

  • Libertymike||

    You don't because any rational friend of liberty would not support Cathy Young's vicious Russophobia.

    She is every bit as cucked and crooked as Dinesh D'Souza.

  • MWG||

    You don't. Different reason writers have differing opinions on different issues.

  • Just Say'n||

    Seems strange then that Russia sanctions are never disputed, but opposition to Iran sanctions are universally reviled

  • ||

    Buying Fakebook ads? Sanctionable offense.
    Sponsoring terrorism and developing an active/hostile nuclear program? Sanctions unnecessary/ineffective.

    Layers deep, not just 'sanction the people/causes I don't like' but 'I don't agree with the motivation and, even if I did, sanctions don't work anyway'.

  • Libertymike||

    The sanctions are acts of war. They have no place in a free society.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Sanctions are not act of war and never have been considered such.

    You're thinking of embargo which is actively blocking a nations ports from receiving or exporting trade goods.

  • Just Say'n||

    Sanctions, whether against Iran or Russia, are a prelude to conflict. If goods do not cross national boundaries then eventually troops will

  • sharmota4zeb||

    In related news, local environmental protectionists protested a new power plant in New Jersey that will sell electricity to New York. From the linked to article:

    But the initial focus of the protest was on the large, $1.5 billion gas-fired power plant slated for nearby North Bergen that if built would provide electricity exclusively to New York and will likely pump millions of tons of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.

    "It's really unfair to all of us," said David Samuels, 24, of Hackensack. "It's going to be built in New Jersey and we get no benefit of the electricity it generates."

    How long do you think it will take New Yorkers to send drones over the Hudson River to target Sierra Club meetings?

  • loveconstitution1789||

    'Prelude' is not act of war nor casus belli

  • JoeBlow123||

    Just Say'n, let me make this simple.

    TRADE DOES NOT STOP WARS. Nor do sanctions inevitably lead to war. Now let us stop spreading the falsehood that trade somehow prevents conflict.

  • sharmota4zeb||

    In related news, Saudi Arabia freezes trade with Canada, because Canada complained when Saudi Arabia arrested women's rights activists including a Canadian citizen, Samar Badawi. When will Canada launch missiles at Saudi Arabia in response?

  • MWG||

    As far as I can tell by doing as search for 'russian sanctions' on the site, Reason has been somewhat silent on sanctions, but the few articles that DO mention sanctions appear to be against them:

    "Better Relations with Russia Should be Welcomed, Not Feared"

    'Ignore the Haters. Russia Is Not Our Enemy"

  • MWG||

    Still can't figure out how to post links in a comment...

  • Ken Shultz||

    When the link starts "https", take off the "s".

  • MWG||

    Awesome. Thx.

  • Just Say'n||

    My mistake then. Thanks for this. I only recall the Cathy Young article, but yeah, I should have researched first

  • Happy Chandler||

    Or use html a href="link.com"

  • Happy Chandler||

    Russian sanctions are targeted to the oligarchs connected to the government. You can buy Russian vodka. You can't buy anything from Oleg Deripaska. You can't buy aluminum from Rusal, the company that he controls. Wait, what? The Rusal sanctions were lifted, and the company given a deadline to separate from Deripaska? Oh, I bet they hit that deadline. Oh, they still haven't separated from him and the deadline was extended twice? Damn, those sanctions are hard on Russia.

    Iran sanctions target the entire country. It worked so well in Cuba.

  • Just Say'n||

    Iran sanctions target the regime as much as Russian oligarchs are targeted by sanctions. You're desperately trying to split hairs.

  • Ken Shultz||

    "The sanctions themselves are hardly a surprise, coming three months after the administration announced it was terminating the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, which lifted financial and trade restrictions on Iran in exchange for limits on the country's nuclear program"

    This is factually incorrect.

    According to the Non-Proliferation Treaty, Iran forfeited the right to enrich their own uranium.

    The 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action gave Iran back the right to enrich their own uranium.

    The 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, therefore, did not put limits on Iran's nuclear program.

    The 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action lifted limits on Iran's nuclear program.

  • Happy Chandler||

    The NPT does not ban countries from enriching Uranium.

    The JCPA removed the enriched Uranium present in Iran.
    The JCPA put strict monitoring of enrichment.

    Before the JCPA, they were enriching Uranium. Since then, they haven't.

    Why did I keep capitalizing uranium?

  • Ken Shultz||

    "The NPT does not ban countries from enriching Uranium."

    I didn't say it did. I said that according to the NPT, Iran forfeited the right to enrich their own uranium.

    But then you can see what I wrote. You even responded to it. Why pretend I wrote something that isn't there? You know everyone else can see what I wrote, too, right?

    "The JCPA put strict monitoring of enrichment."

    The NPT put strict monitoring on enrichment. According to the NPT, they couldn't enrich uranium in secret. By enriching uranium in secret, they violated the NPT and forfeited the right to enrich uranium at all.

    If they need uranium for civilian use, they can acquire uranium that's already been enriched from other NPT countries. The fact that they would suffer sanctions, devaluation of their currency, and being cut off from international credit markets--rather than obtain enriched uranium from another NPT country--should be a red flag. Why would they choose to suffer so much--if their only intention were to enrich uranium for civilian use?

  • Happy Chandler||

    The NPT had no monitoring powers. Without permission, inspectors could not step foot in the country.

    Iran did face sanctions for their violation of the NPT. Then, they agreed to follow the terms, with strict monitoring, and strict limits on enrichment in exchange for relief of the sanctions that were put in for the nuclear violations. That's how sanctions are supposed to work!

    They broke the treaty, they were sanctioned.
    They stopped doing it, the sanctions were lifted.
    What the hell is the point on reinstating the sanctions? Especially without the backing of our allies.

  • Ken Shultz||

    "The NPT had no monitoring powers. Without permission, inspectors could not step foot in the country."

    Again, you seem to be arguing with voices in your head. The NPT mandated that they couldn't enrich uranium in secret.

    If the IAEA determines that such a thing happened, and you're declared to have breached the NPT, bad things happen.

    That's how Iran got in trouble. You say the NPT has no monitoring powers. There's the IAEA declaring Iran to have violated the NPT. Is this all a word game to you? Are you one of those people who only understand things that support your worldview?

    You're educating no one about anything, and the confidence with which you make these irrelevant statements gives you no authority. If you can't make your point without alluding to something I didn't write, then you should probably reconsider your point. You can tell the things I wrote from the things I didn't write because the things I wrote are right here in this thread. The voices in your head, on the other hand, can only be heard by you.

  • I am the 0.000000013%||

    Why did I keep capitalizing uranium?

    It's elementary my dear Watson...

  • ||

    "The JCPOA is working and delivering on its goal, namely to ensure that the Iranian programme remains exclusively peaceful, as confirmed by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in 11 consecutive reports," representatives for the European Union, France, the U.K. and Germany said in a joint statement on Monday. "It is a key element of the global nuclear non-proliferation architecture, crucial for the security of Europe, the region, and the entire world. We expect Iran to continue to fully implement all its nuclear commitments under the JCPOA."

    1. The JCPOA doesn't ensure that the programme remains exclusively peaceful. Just non-nuclear for a limited window.

    2. The US got out and this statement would seem to indicate that the EU expects Iran to maintain full compliance.

    3. My understanding is that, on the ground, Iranians are still protesting and specifically protesting about the economic mismanagement of the Iranian regime rather than the US sanctions. Obviously, more militant protesters against the US sanctions wouldn't protest on the streets in Iran, but we can't exactly count those opinions before they develop and, depending on how they develop, may not need to count them.

  • JoeBlow123||

    "1. The JCPOA doesn't ensure that the programme remains exclusively peaceful. Just non-nuclear for a limited window."

    I would even be fine with this if Iran showed any inclination of changing their ways. They have not, they continue to cause trouble in the Middle East and the IRGC is as strong as ever with a stranglehold over their government and economy. They appear to be playing the same game North Korea played in the 1980s and 1990s, the be mean then pretend to be nice to get money from people.

    Keep the economic hammer on their throat. They can have their nukes but it will come with a price, the same price North Korea is paying right now. International isolation.

  • Ken Shultz||

    "It's laughable to think these sanctions will get the country to come to the table, let alone agree to U.S. demands that it open all its military facilities to international inspection, roll back its support for pro-Iranian factions across the Middle East, and become best friends with Israel."

    Why is it laughable to think that sanctions will get the country to come to the table now, when the same sanctions drove Iran to the negotiating table for The 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action?

    Was it laughable back then, too?

    Why is it laughable to think that Iran will open its nuclear facilities to international inspection--when the Non-Proliferation Treaty, to which they are a party, requires everyone except for the permanent security committee members to only enrich uranium under the auspices of international inspections? Are you not aware that enriching uranium in secret is a violation of the Non-Proliferation Treaty? Are you not aware that having enriched uranium in secret is why member nations slapped sanctions on Iran in the first place? Are you not aware that all the other 190 counties that are parties to the Non-Proliferation Treaty have abided by those terms for decades?

    Why should Iran returning to compliance with the Non-Proliferation Treaty be laughable?

  • Ken Shultz||

    Meanwhile, the idea that Iran will roll back its support for pro-Iranian factions across the Middle East because of sanctions isn't laughable either. That will be a direct consequence of these sanctions. Less money into Iran's coffers means less money for their proxy wars in Yemen and Syria--whether they want to roll back that financing or not.

  • LeaveTrumpAloneLiberal-tarian||

    You're right Ken! Caring about what Iran does in Syria and Yemen sure should be a concern for libertarians who live in the U.S.

    Isn't Trump just great? Sigh.

  • Ken Shultz||

    I'm open to arguments that what Trump is doing isn't in the security interests of the U.S.

    I think Iran returning to compliance with the Non-Proliferation Treaty is very much in America's security interests, and to that end, I support what Trump is doing. It's even constitutional since the NPT was ratified by the Senate.

    Part of the problem is that people believe things like this:

    "The sanctions themselves are hardly a surprise, coming three months after the administration announced it was terminating the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, which lifted financial and trade restrictions on Iran in exchange for limits on the country's nuclear program""

    It's factually incorrect for the reasons I stated above.

  • Ken Shultz||

    For the record, the primary purpose of the NPT might be well described as preventing nations from enriching uranium in secret. Obama's plan allowed the Iranians to enrich their own uranium again. That's a big threat to American security, especially considering that Iran already has the capability to launch multistage rockets and has already used that capability to launch orbital satellites. Why woudln't a state sponsor of terror with a nuclear program and the ability to launch satellites into orbit--technology which can be converted to use in ICBMs--be a legitimate security threat to the United States?

    If government has any legitimate purpose at all, it is to protect our rights. We have police to protect our rights from criminals, courts to protect our rights from the police, and a military to protect our rights from foreign threats. To whatever extent Iran presents a security threat to the rights of Americans, our commander in chief has a legitimate libertarian responsibility to meet that threat.

    Bending over, spreading our cheeks, and telling Iran they can't fuck us because of the NAP is an insufficient guarantee of our rights.

  • LeaveTrumpAloneLiberal-tarian||

    Right again! Boy Trump is great. Caring about the existence of a nuclear weapons program in Iran that might have the ability to launch a weapon around the time Buck Rogers finally fucks Wilma Deering is what keeps me up at night, Ken. That, and thinking about Trump's cock. Mmmm...

  • Ken Shultz||

    The purpose of the NPT is to prevent the acquisition of nuclear weapons. Once they're actually acquired, it's already too late.

    Meanwhile, Iran already has the ability to launch orbital satellites, and has already done so numerous times.

    I find your objection childish to the point that I don't think you even take it seriously.

  • Nardz||

    This is just terrible satire.
    Watch OBL. Try to learn from OBL. That is how you do satire.
    Unfortunately, there is no indication that you have even a speck of talent.

  • Libertymike||

    Meanwhile, Americans continue to spread their cheeks so that you can FEEL safe.

    There is no guarantee from government to protect your rights. That's what Thornton Melon called, "Fantasy Land."

    However, you can count upon the United States government to forcibly spread your cheeks...for your safety, of course.

  • Ken Shultz||

    The NPT has done a fairly good job of helping prevent nuclear proliferation for almost 50 years now--your personal capitulation notwithstanding.

    It has nothing to do with how I feel.

  • Libertymike||

    How would you define "fairly good job?"

    Let's start with the fact that the treaty permits the only state to ever use atomic weapons to have them. The treaty also permits China, France, Russia and the United Kingdom to have nukes as well.

    Let's proceed to examining whether the treaty has been able to stop other nations from developing or otherwise acquiring nukes. I am not aware of any irrefutable evidence in support of the proposition that no other nation state possesses any nukes.

    How about India?

    How about Pakistan?

    How about the Norks?

    How about other NATO members?

    And, let us not forget Israel?

  • Ken Shultz||

    India, Pakistan, and Israel were never signatories.

    Israel is thought to have developed its nukes shortly after the Six Day War in 1967. They already had them before the NPT went into effect.

    India and Pakistan were both well on their way to having nuclear weapons by the time the NPT went into effect in 1970.

    Pointing to examples of countries outside the auspices of the NPT is not a good way to show what happens to countries that are inside the NPT. Because being outside the NPT makes people more likely to develop nukes does not show that being inside the NPT fails to inhibit proliferation. To the contrary, . . .

    You should know this stuff before you post stuff about it, by the way. You have DuckDuck Go and Wikipedia, and I'm not getting paid for this.

    North Korea withdrew, and if you think NOT making them pay a terrible price for doing so somehow makes the world a safer place for Americans to exercise their rights, then you're just being willfully obstinate. Even so, they felt it was necessary to withdraw rather than just simply violate it outright--and expect the U.S. to just bend over and spread its cheeks. The fact that we don't have much leverage over a country that does little trade with the outside world and, back then, used to starve whole provinces off means that the country is resistant to any outside pressure.

    . . . not that the NPT doesn't work. North Korea is fairly unusual that way.

  • mtrueman||

    ". . . not that the NPT doesn't work."

    It doesn't stop any country that's determined to develop these weapons. Membership is strictly voluntary. If Iran wanted to develop these weapons, the NPT wouldn't stop it, They have North Korea's example to follow now,

  • Ken Shultz||

    Yeah, why worry about facts when you can just make absurd pronouncements?

    You'd almost think that Iran hasn't paid a terrible price for violating the NPT or that they don't care about the price they're paying!

    *raspberry*

    Do you imagine that if there were no NPT, that Iran would be even more restrained in its pursuit of nuclear weapons?

    You're being absurd again.

  • mtrueman||

    Is Iran pursuing nuclear weapons? What's the evidence?

  • Happy Chandler||

    Because now they can say that they wouldn't trust the US to uphold its end of the agreement.

    And they would be right.

  • Ken Shultz||

    I'm not certain what this is supposed to mean, but if the world comes to imagine that they can't trust the United States to abide by a treaty unless it's ratified by two-thirds of the senate, then I think that's a good thing. After all, the Constitution doe require that treaties are ratified by two-thirds of the senate.

    Oh, and as I mentioned elsewhere in this thread, the NPT was ratified by two-thirds of the senate. Future presidents should probably keep Obama's shameful buffoonery in mind when they negotiate treaties and don't bother to submit them to the senate for ratification.

    Treaties that were never ratified don't count for shit.

  • Happy Chandler||

    It wasn't a treaty. It was a political agreement.
    We are a stronger country if we follow our agreements. Yes, Trump had the legal power to pull out of the agreement. However, it is an insanely idiotic action whose only consequence will be to speed up the time until Iran goes nuclear. I guess other consequences are a shooting war in Iran, or it becoming a failed state. Maybe the best case scenario is that other countries will establish a financial system that is outside the US system to reduce the effectiveness of unilateral US sanctions.

    The biggest strength of the US was its commitment to its allies and the agreements made. We survived Nixon's treason in sabotaging peace talks in Vietnam. We survived Reagan selling arms to Iran and funding death squads in Central America. We even survived two Bush wars in Iraq. I think we can regain after Trump is gone, but it's the biggest wound in our soft power.

  • Ken Shultz||

    "It wasn't a treaty. It was a political agreement."

    This is horseshit.

    If I called it roses instead, it would still smell like horseshit.

  • Social Justice is neither||

    If it's just a political agreement then nobody with a brain in their head should have expected it to last a minute beyond the politician that made the agreement's term.

    This is why you put important things into treaties. Once it's a treaty it is more than the promise of one politician to another.

  • Dillinger||

    >>>It's laughable to think these sanctions will get the country to come to the table, let alone agree

    pretty much dying to see you be wrong now, just for the giggles.

  • Long Woodchippers||

    The goal is regime change, not bringing the mullahs to the table.

  • LeaveTrumpAloneLiberal-tarian||

    I'm on the can right now so I'm getting a... feeling that the author of this piece might not appreciate the genius of the greatest President ever and man with a 14 inchfoot cock, Donald Trump. Look we're all libertarians here and support our own issues-- bazooka training for toddlers, going to war with commies and Muslims, hating Bernie Sanders-- but I think we all can come together and agree that the one thing that unites us all is an enduring love for our great leader and a fervent wish that he stick his dick in our mouth just after Sheriff Joe gets down jerking him off. Shouldn't that unite us all?

  • loveconstitution1789||

    MAGA!

  • LeaveTrumpAloneLiberal-tarian||

    YEAH BABY!!! YEE-HAWW!

  • loveconstitution1789||

    MAGA

  • Nardz||

    Jesus Christ progressives have no sense of humor.
    How do I know you're progressive?
    Impotent attempts at parody.
    Sad.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    War with Iran or sanctions?

    I'll take sanctions first.

  • Ken Shultz||

    It's even an alternative to the proxy war.

    If you don't want to see the United States arming its proxy Saudi Arabia to fight a proxy war against Iran and its proxies in the Middle East, then cutting off Iran's funding is one way to starve our proxy war of fuel.

    She said that idea is "laughable". She didn't say why. I guess we're supposed to think it's laughable because she said so.

  • Happy Chandler||

    War with Iran or false dichotomy?
    War is more likely now.

  • Long Woodchippers||

    the revolution comes first

  • Nardz||

    Because they're three months away from having a nuke?
    Like they were last year?
    And the year before that?
    And the year before that?
    And the year before that?
    Iran has been three months from getting a nuke for, oh about... a decade now

  • loveconstitution1789||

    I could teach Iran how to make a nuke, but it would violate the law somehow.

  • AustinRoth||

    Perhaps the author of this article thinks we should send Iran more pallets of cash instead.

  • LeaveTrumpAloneLiberal-tarian||

    Thank God we have a President now that will bomb Syria now every time someone reenacts a chemical warfare attack with enough conviction that it makes the news on Fox & Friends. So much better!

  • Just Say'n||

    Pretty much.

    He should really listen to Tucker Carlson (who has opposed all of the bombings and the troop surge in Afghanistan) rather than Fox & Friends

  • Libertymike||

    Let's not ignore the pack of pachyderm in the room: Persian policy is being directed by the neo-Cohens and their masters.

  • Happy Chandler||

    Oh look, the anti-semite is trying to be funny!

  • sharmota4zeb||

    The War in Syria ended recently. The rebels gave up soon after Jordan refused to accept any more refugees.

  • Jerryskids||

    What I would have liked to have seen is, rather than Trump withdrawing from the Iran agreement, Trump submitting the agreement to the Senate for ratification with a recommendation that it be rejected. "Here, shitheads, do your job." Let the Senate approve or reject the deal and do it on the record. Then start returning a bunch of other pass-the-buck responsibility-dodging crap back to Congress, starting with the AUMF. Declare war or don't, but stop unconstitutionally shoving this stuff off on somebody else to take responsibility for. If you don't want to take responsibility for decision-making, you've got no business occupying that seat. And then start campaigning against the swamp creatures who waffle about making the hard decisions. It's what they were elected to do, it's what they all promised to do, it's what damn few of them have actually done.

  • Bob Armstrong||

    The zionists are dancing .

  • Ken Shultz||

    FOAD

  • BradA||

    >>>It's laughable to think these sanctions will get the country to come to the table, let alone agree

    And the headlines from multiple sources are reporting:
    Iran says it's willing to talk with US 'right now' amid sanctions over failed nuclear deal

    My advice to Christian, the author, would be to stay far away from the analysis of international politics.
    You clearly don't have the talent or knowledge for it.

  • WhatAboutBob||

    The author has a degree in political science and worked in public relations. Why not write about international politics for Reason? Seriously, Ken Schultz seems to be about the only one adult in the conversation. This blog post is another example of the slow decline of Reason into oblivion.

  • BradA||

    Decline?
    By pointing out that the author's conclusions / expert opinion were being proven wrong almost before the photons in his characters had dried ?
    A followup correction to the article would have been the adult thing to do.

  • Alcibiades||

    OT
    Supposedly Musk is gonna take Tesla private.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Makes more sense to assume that Musk is just sticking it to short sellers.

  • LeaveTrumpAloneLiberal-tarian||

    Trump Claims His Tariffs Will Pay Down Debt—After He Drove Up Deficits With a Billionaire Tax Cut.

    Yep, I agree. Greatest President ever! He's breaking all the rules of these corporatists and Hillary Deep-Staters and QAnon

  • Happy Chandler||

    It's impossible to tell whether this is a new parody account.

  • WhatAboutBob||

    Probably works for Reason. That's the level of intellectual discourse that they're dishing out these days.

  • Nardz||

    Happy Chandler|8.7.18 @ 7:06PM|#

    It's impossible to tell whether this is a new parody account.
    .
    .
    .
    Damn, Happy.
    Not a good look for you.
    Maybe take the next few plays off - keep those thoughts in the ol head there

  • sharmota4zeb||

    It's laughable to think these sanctions will get the country to come to the table, let alone agree to U.S. demands that it open all its military facilities to international inspection, roll back its support for pro-Iranian factions across the Middle East, and become best friends with Israel. At best, this attitude shows a naive belief that threats and bullying will convince the world's nations just to lay down and accept U.S. demands. At worst, it suggests that the Trump administration is not really interested in coming to an agreement with Iran at all.

    School me some about recent history. I was only a kid when people were boycotting South Africa. The boycott leaders claimed credit for ending apartheid there. Where they wrongs, or did the leaders of South Africa possess some quality that we don't see in Iranian leaders?

  • damikesc||

    South Africa is reinstituting apartheid now. We can see how long it lasts with no outside pressure.

  • mtrueman||

    "or did the leaders of South Africa possess some quality that we don't see in Iranian leaders?"

    They are Western wannabes, similar to Israel who is also sensitive to Western censure. It doesn't work the same for Asian countries like Iran who get no satisfaction from aping the West.

  • Underzog||

    the Rhomites at "Iran's plat to nuke Israel or the Rhomites believe Iran will nuke Israel. Iran might nuke the U.Sl you Rhomites from "Reason." Reason Magazine" at mad at my President for not supporting Iran in its eliminationist, antisemitic evil. Hah! It's good to be able to boast about the middle East to you guys for once. If you really are mad at me. maybe I'llstick my head in an oven and blow out the pilot light to make you fell better.

    "There's no need to fear. Underzog is here."
    The Troll Song

  • David Nolan||

    Well, he does retract 75% of his threats.
    And Mueller has him spinning even more out of control.

  • CptNerd||

    It's apparently an important Libertarian principle that the US not be isolated. How can we have open borders if the world hates us so much they don't want to come here?

  • JeremyR||

    I think you've missed the point. The point is not to bring Iran to the table, but to reduce its ability to project power in the Middle East by denying it money.

    Thanks to Obama giving them piles of money, they've built up a power base in Syria and Yemen. One to threaten Israel, one to threaten Saudi Arabia.

  • mtrueman||

    Iran could threaten the world by simply blocking the straights of Hormuz, the outlet from the Persian Gulf oil and gas producing regions to the rest of the world. They don't need Obama's money to do this.

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