No pain, no bargain with Iran

The Chicago Tribune Editorial talks about the failure of the bargaining process to yield acceptable results witht he Iranians, who think they have a BATNA woth suffering for, if they have to suffer at all. They are calling the bluff of the West and the rest and finding that outside of the US there is no stomach for inflicting pain or sharing it.


The central questions now: How much economic pain are Iranians prepared to absorb for the sake of becoming a nuclear power? How much pain is the rest of the world willing to inflict--and suffer--to stop them?

Put another way, which is scarier: $4-a-gallon gas or a nuclear Iran?

The Security Council is likely to start with relatively mild actions, limiting travel visas for officials, for instance, or banning equipment that could be used in Iran's nuclear industry.

The U.S. has been working with European banks to curb financial activities in Iran, even in the absence of a Security Council resolution. In May, the Washington Post reported that a Treasury Department task force had developed a plan to "restrict the Tehran government's access to foreign currency and global markets, shut its overseas accounts and freeze assets held in Europe and Asia." A spooked Iranian government has reportedly been transferring funds out of some European banks, fearing a freeze.

So, where did Iran get all that US currency that was being handed out by Hezballah after the cease fire in Lebanon? Perhaps, they, are their proxy, printed it, but you would think with this much attention on their banking activities we would know.

What we do know is that outside of Israel and the US no one is really willing to do something effective to stop the gathering storm.


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