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US officials believe 'Iran sanctions will fail' making military strike 'only option' left

Washington, Sat, 18 Feb 2012 ANI

Washington, Feb 18 (ANI): Some Obama administration officials reportedly believe that sanctions will not be enough stop Iran from pursuing its nuclear programme, leaving Washington with no option but to launch an attack on that country or watch Israel do so.


According to The Guardian, there is an opinion within the administration, including in the Pentagon and the State Department, that believes sanctions such as the financial blockade and the looming European oil embargo, are doomed to fail.


"The White House wants to see sanctions work. This is not the Bush White House. It does not need another conflict," the paper quoted an official knowledgeable on Middle East policy, as saying.


"Its problem is that the guys in Tehran are behaving like sanctions don't matter, like their economy isn't collapsing, like Israel isn't going to do anything. Sanctions are all we've got to throw at the problem. If they fail then it's hard to see how we don't move to the 'in extremis' option," the official added.


The White House has said repeatedly that all options are on the table, including the use of force to stop Iran obtaining a nuclear weapon, but that for now the emphasis is firmly on diplomacy and sanctions.


Dennis Ross, Obama's former envoy for the Middle East and Iran, recently said that sanctions might be pushing Tehran toward negotiations.


But the paper revealed that in other parts of the administration, the assumption is that sanctions will fail, and so calculations are being made about what follows, including how serious Israel is in its threat to launch a unilateral attack on Iran's nuclear installations, and how the US responds.


According to the paper, Iran's increasingly belligerent moves, such as the botched attempts, laid at Tehran's door, to attack Israeli diplomats in Thailand, India and Georgia, are compounding the sense that Iran is far from ready to negotiate. (ANI)


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