January 12, 2010
A former US presidential advisor cautions the Obama administration against imposing new sanctions on Iran, arguing that such measures may backfire.
“I think in fact, when we add sanctions, we provide an obvious and very useful enemy for Iran, and they use that to their own advantage,” writes Middle East analyst Gary Sick in a recent article. “It’s not going to bring them to their knees.”
Sick, who specializes on Iran, also notes that imposing gasoline sanctions against Tehran would probably be “the worst idea to come out of the Congress since they opposed the purchase of Alaska.”
[efoods]He adds that more sanctions would “identify the US as the enemy of the ordinary citizen in Iran,” and possibly lead the US “down the slippery slope to another disastrous war in the Middle East.”
The prominent analyst and author, who currently works at the Columbia University, also urges Obama to take steps in getting Israel to back down from the aggressive position it has taken towards Iran.
“Well, Mr. President, you have some cards of your own up your sleeve. You know that Israel is not really going to attack Iran. They can’t do anything significant without US help, and George Bush already told them not to expect that.”
“But they have invested so much in their campaign to convince the Israeli population and the entire world that Israel’s survival as a nation is imminently in peril that they can’t be seen to back down,” Sick underlines. “They might welcome some help to get them off their own sticky wicket.”
The veteran analyst, who served on the US National Security Council under Presidents Ford and Carter, also suggests a similar approach with regards to the anti-Iran media hype promoted in the US.
“You also know that the Iranian nuclear program is nowhere near a bomb regardless of the punditocracy consensus to the contrary in defiance of the facts,” Sick reiterates. “There is plenty of time if you can just calm the domestic political furor.”