Needed: An Off-Ramp for Iran Policy
Foreign Policy / Marc Lynch

I don't expect to see military action by the U.S. or by Israel. Nor do I expect to see any
serious progress towards a political bargain, either a narrow one about the Iranian nuclear program nor an expansive one about Iran's place in the Middle East. Nor do I expect Iran to test a nuclear weapon.


More likely than either is a relentless slide towards a replay of the Iraq saga of the 1990's: a steady ratcheting-up of sanctions, which increasingly impact the Iranian people but fail to compel change in the regime's political behavior; episodic and frequent diplomatic crises which consume the world's diplomatic attention and resources; the growing militarization and polarization of the Gulf; ongoing uncertainty about Iranian intentions and capabilities. Eventually, as with Iraq, the choices may well narrow sufficiently and the perception of impending threat mount so that a President -- maybe Obama, maybe Palin, maybe anyone else -- finds him or herself faced with "no choice" but to move towards war."

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