by Patrick Appel

Noah Pollak opines:

[A]cknowledging Russia and China’s unwillingness to help [with sanctions] would strike the most powerful blow yet to Obama’s central foreign-policy message: that his personality and eagerness for engagement would open up doors for America that were slammed shut by the Bush administration’s alleged arrogance and quickness to go to war. Acknowledging that the Security Council will never allow strong sanctions would be tantamount to admitting that the very logic and premises of Obama’s foreign policy is flawed. Thus, this isn’t really about Iran. It’s about the politics of failure and Obama’s increasingly desperate attempt to shield his presidency from the hard realities of the world.

And there is a practical reason why Obama may never admit that the Security Council is a dead end: doing so would force him to move to a new strategy and there is no new strategy.

has a slightly different view. Larison thinks that US "objectives are unrealistic and unreachable":

Obama wanted to change the means the U.S. used to pursue the same unreachable end, namely the elimination or severe limitation of Iran’s nuclear program. What the administration and its hawkish critics have been unable to see is that it is the end, not the means, that needs to be changed.

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