by JUAN COLE Source: salon.com

Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Adm. Mike Mullen said at Columbia University that a military strike on Iran over its nuclear enrichment activities would be his “last option.” He makes an excellent point, too often overlooked. In some instances the price of doing something is just about as high as the price of doing nothing. A U.S. strike on Iran would risk throwing Iraq and Afghanistan into chaos, with our troops in the midst of it.

The Obama administration is now moving to tighten economic sanctions on Iran, as an alternative to a more direct approach. These measures include pressuring countries and firms not to buy Iranian petroleum and gas; pressuring them not to sell gasoline to Iran; and attempting to make it difficult for Iranian banks to interface with the world economic system.

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