The Obama Administration argues that "biting" sanctions may be affecting the way Teheran thinks about its nuclear program. But Ray Takeyh, in a bracing and depressing piece, argues otherwise: Khamenei and Ahmadinejad are too enamored of their own ideology to do anything but continue down their current path. The current path, of course, ends in crisis, which I wrote about here. Takeyh:

"(T)he calculations of Iran's principal protagonists -- Ahmadinejad and Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei -- are largely unaffected by mounting financial penalties imposed by the West. After three decades of wrestling with the Islamic Republic, Washington and its allies still fail to realize that they are not dealing with a conventional nation-state making subtle estimates of national interests.