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Sanctions and Maybe More

What the West and Israel are planning for Iran

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The nuclear reactor at Bushehr, August 2010.(IIPA via Getty Images)

This was the week that the International Atomic Energy Agency report on Iran came out—it strongly argued that Iran continues to pursue nuclear weapons—and not much else happened on that particular front. Some reading on the topic as we head into the weekend:

• Yossi Melman reports that even now experts are significantly divided over how long they think it will take Iran to have a nuclear bomb. [Haaretz]

• Due to concerns about effects on energy markets as well as skepticism that China and Russia can be brought around, you have not heard much noise from the United States on the topic of further sanctions. [Haaretz]

• Actually, it’s France who has taken the sanctions-seeking lead. [Haaretz]

• Indeed, persuading Beijing is central to further sanctions. (I said the same thing!) [JPost]

• However, certain sanctions targeted at financial institutions could be just thing thing we’re looking for. [Slate]

• Has Republican frontrunner Mitt Romney changed to a less-hawkish line on Iran? [Wired Danger Room]

• British officials reportedly believe Israel will attack Iran in the next two months. [Haaretz]

• If it did, most if not all of the Sunni Arab Gulf countries would (very quietly) support it. [JPost]

• Israel has the capacity to launch fairly accurate, pinpoint airstrikes against half-a-dozen nuclear targets in western Iran. [Reuters/Vos Iz Neias?]

• An Israel financial firm estimates that the economic costs of such a strike, factoring in the likely consequences, would be catastrophic. [Reuters/Vos Iz Neias?]

So, still, nobody knows anything.

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Sanctions and Maybe More

What the West and Israel are planning for Iran

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