Tuesday, February 13, 2007
Both the Bush administration and the EU agree that only a two-track approach will get Iran to negotiate a settlement of the uranium enrichment question; sanctions alone aren't going to cut it. The problem is deciding what the second track should be.
The Europeans think we ought to offer the Iranians incentives, such as a security guarantee, to balance the dis-incentives represented by sanctions. Call it the carrot and the stick approach. The Bush administration thinks we ought to signal the clear threat of military action to let them know that things only get worse from here on out. Call it the stick and the aluminum baseball bat approach.
Of course, threatening a war with Iran is a tricky matter, since we don't really have the force levels for it, and we can't really afford the consequences it would have on our occupation of Iraq. Which might explain why an internal EU document accepts as a foregone conclusion that Iran will eventually have the capacity to produce weapons-grade uranium.