Those in the administration who are more serious about the Iranian threat probably tell themselves that this time the sanctions (although limited in the manner described above) will really hurt the Iranian regime, that the scalawags genuinely fear the financial repercussions. This time they will work.
It’s hard to believe that sitting here in Los Angeles, even less likely sitting in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.
The mullahs’ heady brew of religion and power madness almost certainly makes them immune to these forms of economic pressure, the more so since they mainly affect the already-battered Iranian public.
If the mullahs cared about their people, things would have been different a long time ago. And, unfortunately, that Iranian public seems less to be relied upon, the Green Revolution fading into a sad and, increasingly distant, memory. (I may be wrong about this, but watching the horrifying results of the demonstrations in Egypt and Syria cannot be encouraging to the remaining Greens and their sympathizers.)
So where does this leave Mr. Netanyahu? Not in place to be envied, despite his electoral popularity.
He is staring at an American election that must give him fits. Were Barack Obama – the man who said those “flattering” things about him to ex-French President Sarkozy – to be reelected in November, the Israeli PM’s hands might be tied in a myriad of ways with a myriad of threats.
His window to act is now. One can only wish him luck. (And maybe some high-tech wizardry we have never seen before.)