Very Slow Sticks

by Patrick Appel

Michael Singh doesn't approve of how we do sanctions:

This incremental approach is counterproductive. The sanctions’ predictability and long lead time allows Tehran to prepare for them in advance. For example, Iran is currently expanding its oil refining capacity and reducing consumption subsidies in anticipation of the sort of gasoline sanctions moving through Congress, and could be a net gasoline exporter by 2013. Incrementalism inures the Iranian regime to sanctions altogether, stripping of credibility any threats of tougher action in the future. The result is to rob sanctions of their deterrent effect and make extreme outcomes -- a nuclear-armed Iran, or war with Iran -- more rather than less likely.