Sanctions fail to change Iran's behavior so far
November 22nd, 2011
06:10 PM ET

Sanctions fail to change Iran's behavior so far

By CNN Sr. National Security Producer Pam Benson

While international sanctions continue to mount against Iran and its nuclear program, the Obama administration acknowledged Tuesday the steps have done little to change Iran's behavior.

National Security Advisor Thomas Donilon said at a conference at the Brookings Institution that Iran is paying a steep price for its intransigence. Growing international sanctions, diplomatic isolation and growing defense alliances in the region continue to ratchet up the pressure on Iran and have helped slow down its nuclear efforts.

But Donilon also admitted that "the Iranian regime has not fundamentally altered its behavior."

Earlier this month, the International Atomic Energy Agency questioned whether Iran's nuclear program is for peaceful energy purposes, as Iran maintains. In the most detailed report to date, the IAEA found "credible" information that Tehran has carried out work toward nuclear weapons, including tests of possible bomb components.

Despite Iran's failure to change its behavior, Donilon thinks the United States, working in concert with its international partners, will eventually have an impact on the Iranian leadership if they remain persistent and unified.

"We think it has an effect when they see that they are thoroughly isolated," Donilon said.

But unity has been a problem.

China and Russia in particular have been reluctant to support harsher sanctions against Iran and have effectively forced the United States and European nations to settle for less punishing measures.

However, Donilon maintained there is good coordination and cooperation with China and Russia.

"They have supported us on each of our sanctions, international sanctions at the U.N.," he said. "They have enforced those efforts faithfully."

Donilon said it is important all options remain on the table. "Over time, the goal, of course, would be to raise the price and force the choice," he added.

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Filed under: IAEA • Iran • Nuclear • Security Brief • weapons
soundoff (6 Responses)
  1. essential-intelligence

    Read more about the conflict between the Western coalition vs. Iran in our latest post:

    http://essential-intelligence-network.blogspot.com/2011/11/western-coalition-vs-iran-low.html

    November 23, 2011 at 2:24 pm | Reply
  2. hass

    Sanctions have not 'failed' because they're really intended to justify a US attack on Iran, and to prevent any sort of REAL US-Iran diplomacy

    November 23, 2011 at 12:34 pm | Reply
    • Jack B

      Nonsense! How could sanctions 'justify' an attack? Actually, the sanctions have been an attempt to make an attack on Iran unneccessary, in the naive hope they'd work. But they don't work, because they'e ultimately unworkable. The West keeps dithering until it's too late – and it will be too late once Iran has the nukes it is most definitely wants to build...

      November 23, 2011 at 12:48 pm | Reply
  3. smithers

    Sanctions sanctions sanctions...its all a song and dance until iran gets nukes israel wipes them out and armegeddon begins.

    November 23, 2011 at 12:12 am | Reply
  4. Rafael

    Enough with the sanctions. They don't work. Didn't work on noth korea either (and they succeded in getting their nukes). Let's not make the same mistake here. Beside's, they actually like being isolated. They want to be self sufficient. Its time to BOMB them. Or let israel do it

    November 22, 2011 at 9:00 pm | Reply

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