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The Absence of Consequences Drives Iran

Judith Klinghoffer makes an astute observation over the continuing war of words over Iran's race to nuclear weapons: Ahmadinejad is winning due to the lack of any substantive consequence.

”US Backtracks Earlier Threats” is the headline describing Secretary Rice’s announcement that no one is looking for immediate UN sanctions against Iran. Just as good were the accompanying news that the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has not yet even “made any decision to hold an emergency meeting to consider Iran's nuclear program.“ Preacher Khattami, indeed, has good reasons to tell his followers that all the Western noise “is just a psychological war.” If the Iranians seem to coalesce around their reckless president, it is because he seems to be winning.

He is winning because no one threatened to do anything which would affect the life of the Iranian ruling class. The life of those Iranians will not be affected by the bombing of Bushir or other sites dedicated to nuclear development. It would be affected by a threat to deny visas to Iranians (including family members) connected in any shape or form to the government who wish to travel or do business abroad. Just tell Iranian parents and children that the West is about to be close to them and note the response.