The Time Is Now to Act Against Iran

According to The Wall Street Journal, the United States is considering watering down latest U.N. sanctions proposal in order to get China and Russia on board. We've already had three rounds of sanctions without teeth that accomplished little, it's the definition of insanity to keep doing the same thing again and again and expect a different outcome. Watered down UN sanctions will be ineffective.

However, the mere threat of Congressional energy sanctions has persuaded major European, Indian and Russian companies including BP, Lukoil, Shell, Reliance, Allianz and several others  to terminate or sharply reduce their Iranian business ties.

If the administration was serious about undermining the regime, it would target the Iranian energy sector -- the lifeblood of the tyrants who rule Iran -- and green light the passage of the energy sanctions legislation passed overwhelmingly by Congress. It would also enforce -- for the first time -- the energy sanctions legislation that's been on the books since 1996. Even slapping one energy company doing business with Iran in violation of the 1996 Iran Sanctions Act would send shockwaves through the energy industry and persuade other companies to leave Iran.

The crucial thing is we're running out of time. Gen. Petraeus said last week he didn't think Iran would have nukes in this calendar year -- but left open the possibility they could happen next calendar year. Sanctions might be a long shot to encourage regime change in Iran, or at least changing their nukes program, but it's better than being faced, in just a few months time with bombing Iran or letting Iran have the bomb.

And here's another point to consider. If Israel concludes we can't stop Iran, they will feel they have no alternative but to bomb Iran on their own.

It's time for President Obama to screw up his courage and impose gas and banking sanctions, and encourage the Iranian democracy movement.

For more this subject, click here to read my Fox Forum piece from last week.

Kathleen Troia “KT” McFarland served in national security posts in the Nixon, Ford and Reagan administrations. She wrote Secretary of Defense Weinberger’s November 1984 "Principles of War Speech" which laid out the Weinberger Doctrine. She is a senior adviser to the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies and a frequent contributor to the Fox Forum. Watch "K.T." and Mike Baker every Monday at 10 a.m. on's "DefCon3" already one of the Web's most watched national security programs. 

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