The announcement that 90 U.S. senators signed a letter to President Obama urging him to sanction Iran’s central bank has been described by some American officials, according to the Wall Street Journal’s Jay Solomon, as the “nuclear option” or, in the eyes of some Iranian officials, an act of war. But that hasn’t stopped some of Washington’s most outspoken Iran hawks from applauding potential legislation aimed at freezing Iran out of the global financial system.
The letter, cosponsored by Sens. Mark Kirk (R-IL) and Charles Schumer (D-NY), calls for blacklisting Bank Markazi, Iran’s central bank, and observes that, “If our allies are willing to join, we believe this step can be even more effective.”
Clifton cites people like “the Washington Post’s Jennifer Rubin and the Foundation for Defense of Democracies‘ Mark Dubowitz” as front and center in this push for “Iraq-like sanctions” on Iran. That is, they are openly advocating sanctions of the kind that directly led to the deaths of hundreds thousands of Iraqi children and up to a million Iraqis total.
What’s crazy is that they’re arguing for this mere days after admitting, as Clifton documents, that aggressive and harsh sanctions are unlikely to deter the Iranian leadership from their unsubstantiated quest for the bomb.
Despite the obvious support the prospect of attacking Iran has among many hawks in the halls of power, I honestly think most of the national security community considers it too costly and risky at the present time. I suspect these neocons recognize that resistance to some extent, and figure the next best thing is to simply strangle the Iranian economy so that the population suffers another colossal humanitarian disaster. What madness…