Are the new Iran sanctions tough enough?

The U.S., Russia and China have agreed on additional sanctions against Iran. Will they finally bring an end to the Middle East's nuclear drama?

What's Ahmadinejad got up his sleeve?
(Image credit: Getty)

Hillary Clinton announced on Tuesday that the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council — the U.S., France, UK, China and Russia — have agreed on a draft resolution to impose new nuclear sanctions on Iran, including a ban on selling heavy weapons to the country. The announcement came as a rejection of Iran's recently announced deal to send half its nuclear fuel to Turkey. Will the new sactions put the brakes on Iran's nuclear ambitions, or just further isolate the country?

Sanctions will make things worse: These new sanctions are a "blunder," says M.J. Rosenberg at Talking Points Memo. Iran's deal with Turkey (which the U.S. "strongly promoted") was a clear attempt to legitimize its nuclear ambitions. "At the very least," it could have led to the "renewal of talks." But instead, we insist on sanctions that will "strengthen a teetering dictatorship" by galvanizing support for it in the Middle East.

"No, Hillary, sanctions don't work"

Subscribe to The Week

Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.


Sign up for The Week's Free Newsletters

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

Sign up

We need to show some force, not sanctions: Obama's Iran policy relies "far too much on carrots," says Benny Avni in the New York Post. By putting all of our "punitive eggs in the UN basket," the U.S. has opened the door for Turkey and other players to give Iran cover. These latest sanctions won't change anything. We need to "hint at military action," or say "hello to Iran's nuclear future."

"A'jad wins again"

These sanctions should just be the beginning: Iran's deal with Turkey was a "nuclear sleight of hand," says an editorial in the Chicago Tribune. But, to the credit of the Security Council, "no-one was fooled" — and these latest sanctions should be followed by "still tougher measures," like a gasoline embargo. At long last, the U.S. and its allies "showed some spine." Let's see more of it.

"Nuclear smackdown"

Continue reading for free

We hope you're enjoying The Week's refreshingly open-minded journalism.

Subscribed to The Week? Register your account with the same email as your subscription.