Opinion Columns & Blogs

November 20, 2013

James Traub: Why sanctions on Iran could backfire

If you squeeze a bully’s fingers really hard, and he buckles, then you keep squeezing until you bring him to his knees, right? That, in any case, is the logic that lies behind the bipartisan revolt against President Obama’s diplomacy with Iran. In an op-ed in USA Today, Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, explained why he had defied the administration’s urgent request that Congress hang fire on further sanctions: “Iran is on the ropes because of its intransigent policies and our collective will. . . . Tougher sanctions will serve as an incentive for Iran to verifiably dismantle its nuclear weapons program.”

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